Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Knights acquires Surrey firm as Freshfields strengthens Silicon Valley offering

Ever-expansive listed firm Knights has made its latest major acquisition through the £5.3m buyout of Surrey-based Mundays.

The purchase sees Mundays’ 34 fee-earners, including six partners led by Weybridge-based managing partner and head of corporate Neale Andrews, join Knights, bringing with them key strengths in corporate, real estate and private client law.

Chief executive David Beech said that Mundays ‘will have a strong cultural fit’ with Knights, and added the acquisition ‘further builds our position in the South East, providing a strong platform from which to recruit talented lawyers that no longer wish to commute into London.’ Knights entered the South East market through the £8.5m buyout of ASB Law in March 2020.

Elsewhere, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has bolstered its fledgling Silicon Valley office with the hire of M&A partner Joseph Halloum from Kirkland & Ellis. Halloum is an experienced private equity adviser who also assists in taking clients public through IPOs and other mechanisms.

John Fisher, Freshfields’ head of technology and life sciences M&A in the US, said: ‘Joseph has worked on some of the most complex and market-defining M&A transactions in the technology sector. He will be a terrific resource for our clients.’

KPMG has strengthened its UK legal presence through the hire of Justine Sacarello, formerly head of legal and regulatory change at Lloyds Banking Group. In her new role at KPMG, Sacarello will act as a regulatory lawyer focusing on banks as they tackle the increasing ESG agenda, the Libor transition and other regulatory issues.

Nick Roome, head of KMPG law, said that Sacarello was attracted to KPMG’s ‘dynamic multi-disciplinary legal practice’ where she can ‘provide a one-stop-shop for businesses.’

Ashurst has likewise secured the services of a seasoned financial regulatory partner in London, hiring Etay Katz from Allen & Overy. Katz, an established figure in the market, advises clients on both national and international regulatory regimes, as well as corporate transactions in the highly-regulated financial services market.

Jake Green, global co-head of Ashurst’s financial regulatory practice, commented: ‘Our practice is exceptionally well-positioned to advise clients on the increasingly complex regulatory landscape as we move beyond Brexit and as the pace of digital transformation continues to accelerate. Etay will play a critical role in that and we are delighted that he is joining the firm.’

Also in London, White & Case has boosted its M&A practice with the addition of partner Ferdinand Mason from Global 100 competitor, Jones Day. Mason is an experienced adviser to public and private M&A deals particularly in the technology, healthcare, energy, financial services and real estate sectors.

White & Case global executive committee member Oliver Brettle insisted that Mason’s hire ‘sends a clear message to the market that we are investing in a broad and deep M&A practice in London for the long haul.’

Finally, McDermott Will & Emery has appointed veteran energy projects specialist Ignatius Hwang as a partner in its London office. Previously serving as Singapore managing partner for both Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and Squire Patton Boggs over the last decade, Hwang has over 30 years’ experience of advising governments and sponsors on public-private partnerships and other energy projects.

Hamid Yunis, managing partner of McDermott’s London office, said that Hwang ‘will play a leading role in developing our offerings in London, Singapore and south east Asia more broadly and complement our capabilities in other growth regions, such as India and the Middle East.’