Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Kirkland snaps up A&O antitrust partner as Deloitte loses TMT trio

The appetite for competition, tech and disputes partners is the theme of this week’s recruitment round up.

Kirkland & Ellis bolstered its antitrust and competition practice with the hire of Alasdair Balfour from Allen & Overy. Balfour brings 25 years of experience in merger control, foreign investment, antitrust conduct investigations and litigation, and a focus on securing merger control clearances. His arrival goes some way to recoup the departures of two antitrust partners to US competitors this year, following Sarah Jordan’s move to Goodwin in January and Annie Herdman to Ropes & Gray in March.

Amid late stages of merger talks with BLM, Clyde & Co continues to expand its insurance team in London with the addition of Rob Crossingham from Weightmans. The arrival of the professional liability expert coincides with an expected increase in post-pandemic claims in this space, explained Clyde & Co’s global head of insurance James Cooper: ‘Post-Covid financial uncertainty and the difficult economic conditions we are seeing have raised the prospect of an increase in claims in professional and financial lines. Bringing on board Rob, a leading light in this area, will help us continue to support our clients as they navigate this changing landscape.’

Meanwhile, Deloitte has lost three TMT partners to media, communications and entertainment specialist firm Harbottle & Lewis. Their arrival adds an important string to Harbottle’s bow with the launch of its technology, data and digital group. The Legal 500-ranked leading individual for IT and telecoms, Emma Wright, will lead the new practice and brings a breadth of experience in telecoms and internet regulatory matters. Anita Bapat, who led the privacy practice at Deloitte, adds data protection compliance expertise in addition to experience in breaches and regulatory investigations, while Rupam Davé, who made partner in 2020, counts advising on technology transformation projects among his areas of specialism.

The trio joined the Big Four firm as part of its high-profile acquisition of technology boutique Kemp Little, which brought in 29 new partners in 2021. Since the merger, other departures of legacy Kemp Little partners have included head of trade marks, Charlotte Wilding, and data protection partner Alexander Dittel, who both joined Wedlake Bell in September 2021.

Meanwhile, Shoosmiths has appointed financial services litigator Andrew Bowden-Brown to its ranks. Formerly the head of banking and finance at Francis Wilks & Jones, his arrival complements the firm’s asset-based lending expertise and adds specialist experience in crypto-asset recovery litigation.

Finally, in Brussels, Norton Rose Fulbright has brought across senior partner Miranda Cole from Covington & Burling. Cole, who specialises in the technology and life sciences sectors, cited the NRF’s international reach — which includes 150 lawyers across 20 countries and five continents — among her reasons for the move: ‘In this unprecedented period, it is vital for companies to be taking an international perspective, and Norton Rose Fulbright has the strength, expertise and global reach to advise clients on these business-critical issues holistically.’