Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: lateral hiring market picks up pace again

The beginning of October has seen the lateral hire market leap back into action following the summer lull, with several high-profile hires across disputes, arbitration, and IP.

Goodwin has strengthened its litigation offering with the appointment of government investigations and enforcement partner Mark Beardsworth.  Beardsworth is a Legal 500 Leading Individual for white-collar crime and will lead the firm’s European investigations and enforcement practice. He carries out internal investigations for corporations and regulators and advises on a range of risk and governance issues.  Alongside this he has been involved in prosecutions by HM Revenue and Customs, the Serious Fraud Office, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Financial Reporting Council.

Meanwhile, Brown Rudnick has appointed Robin Pickworth as a partner to its London litigation and arbitration practice. Pickworth specialises in international fraud and private client disputes. He is acting in the Mozambique tuna bond matter and has previously acted to obtain urgent injunctions to restrain and recover assets arising out of the acquisition of PPE equipment.

‘I have international clients in the Middle East and Africa, which are very big growth areas in terms of litigation, and I wanted to go to a firm with a strategic desire to grow in those areas and the resources and reputation to be accepted by demanding, high-profile clients, with complex matters,’ Pickworth said while commenting on the attraction of the firm.

‘Brown Rudnick has made a lot of strides dealing with high-net-worth individuals. Those types of clients gain a lot from knowing other similarly minded clients are under the same roof. One of the reasons I’ve come here is I have quite a lot of clients of that nature,’ he added.

Meanwhile, Morrison Foerster has appointed Legal 500 Leading Individual in commercial litigation, Ben Summerfield to its litigation department. Previously at Reed Smith, Summerfield acts on high-value, cross-border commercial disputes, with his clients spanning the technology, media, entertainment, telecoms, financial services, and infrastructure sectors.

Morrison Foerster has also added Jennifer Seipelt to its transactions department and finance group. Seipelt will be based in the firm’s Berlin office and moves from Milbank.

Travers Smith has sustained another high-profile loss, with Doug Bryden set to move to Freshfields global ESG and sustainability practice. He was previously head of environment & operational regulatory, and co-head of the ESG and impact group at Travers. He specialises in ESG and regulatory issues, helping boards and investors navigate ESG governance strategies and obligations, as well as responding to crises events.

Elsewhere, Gateley has bolstered its international arbitration practice with the hire of partners Michael Lightfoot and Kieran McCarthy from Clifford Chance. Lightfoot is dual qualified in the UK and US and advises clients across the engineering, real estate, oil & gas, construction, power, IT, financial services and pharmaceuticals/ life sciences sectors. McCarthy is also dual qualified in the UK and US and specialises in international trade, international arbitration and complex cross- border litigation.

Discussing the move with LB, Lightfoot said: ‘We have slightly different but complementary practices that will allow us to cover the entire spectrum of international dispute resolution and strategic advisory work. We both have strong international commercial arbitration practices that align well with the firm’s client base, many of which are involved in complex international construction and infrastructure projects,’ he added.

Commenting on key market trends in the international arbitration space McCarthy explained: ‘The energy sector is already seeing a rise in disputes based on disrupted supply chains and restructured oil and gas markets as a result of, first, the Covid-19 pandemic and now, the political economy consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (and the related international response). Markets that were previously not the focus of the arbitration community are now hotbeds for disputes, an issue we raised recently when speaking at Istanbul Arbitration Week.’

Taylor Wessing will be joined by Anneka Dalton on 9 October as a new partner in its international IP practice.  Moving from Hogan Lovells, Dalton has particular expertise in brands and litigation, advising clients on all aspects of brand strategy and intellectual property rights. She works across the e-commerce, consumer, tech and healthcare sectors.

‘IP is a major strategic focus for the firm and client demand is growing. Taylor Wessing offers clients a fully holistic approach to their IP needs, including supporting with all manner of contentious issues that can (and increasingly do) involve large and complex brands litigation,’ Dalton said as she discussed how she hoped to grow her practice at Taylor Wessing.

‘I have worked closely with some of the world’s largest and most successful multi-national tech, consumer and life sciences brands, which, coupled with my expertise and experience in brands litigation, complements the firm’s strategic focus and client base,’ she added.

Hogan Lovells has appointed energy transition partner Andrew Shaw to its corporate and finance practice group. Shaw moves from CMS, where he was previously co-head of its oil & gas and energy transition team.  He works across conventional oil & gas, as well as green and blue hydrogen, green ammonia, geothermal, carbon capture, wind, solar and BESS.

In international moves, Allen & Overy has bolstered its litigation offering in Warsaw with the appointment of Adam Kowalczyk. Previously at Bird & Bird, Kowalczyk has over 17 years of experience as a general commercial litigator, alongside white-collar crime and investigations. He specialises in business fraud and corruption, sanctions compliance, internal inquiries, money laundering, tax crimes and insider training.

Paul Hastings has hired a further infrastructure partner in Frankfurt. Gerd Hegele joins the firm’s European energy and infrastructure practice and advises private equity and infrastructure investors on both national and cross-border M&A transactions. He is the second Clifford Chance partner to move to Paul Hasting’s Frankfurt office in recent months, following the arrival of Frederik Mühl in June.