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Revolving doors: K&L Gates and CC make key appointments as Pinsent Masons makes Magic Circle hire for new Düsseldorf office

In this week’s appointment round-up, Clifford Chance (CC) has added muscle to its New York office and K&L Gates has recruited in London, while Pinsent Masons has hired in Germany from CC.

Pittsburgh-based K&L Gates has added muscle to its City finance practice, bringing in former Mayer Brown partner Mayank Gupta.

Gupta joins as a partner with experience in leveraged finance, real estate, energy, and telecoms, and multijurisdictional experience in Hong Kong and Australia. K&L London administrative partner Tony Griffiths said: ‘Maynak’s focus on cutting-edge international finance transactions and high-end advice is perfectly aligned with the direction our practice has been heading.’

CC continues to expand its US practice, bringing in Eddie Frastai from Dentons to join its New York real estate team. Frastai has more than a decade of experience advising real estate owners, developers and financial institutions across the US. According to CC’s recently announced financial results, American revenues at the Magic Circle firm grew by a substantial 13%.

‘We have built a strong offering of leading real estate sector products in the US,’ said CC Americas managing partner Evan Cohen. ‘Eddie’s arrival further strengthens an area of strategic focus for us in the US and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to our firm.’

Going the other way, CC partner Peter Christ is joining Pinsent Masons in Düsseldorf.

Pinsents has invested in its recently opened Düsseldorf practice, bringing the number of lawyers in its German offices to 70 lawyers including 22 partners. The Düsseldorf office launched in February with a focus on energy, with Christ providing added experience to this sector and to life sciences.

Pinsents Germany managing partner Rainer Kreifels said: ‘Peter’s appointment reflects the firm’s continued strategic investment into its international markets and is an important addition to our office in Düsseldorf. His expertise will make a valuable contribution to our employment law practice and strengthens our ability to serve the market internationally.’

In China, Allen & Overy head of IP Benjamin Bai left the Magic Circle firm after nearly six years. Bai moves in-house to join Ant Financial, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba.

Ant Financial also recently recruited Simpson Thacher & Bartlett Hong Kong-based partner Leiming Chen as general counsel and senior vice president in March.