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Revolving doors: Latham revisits CC for finance hire as DLA recruits BCLP duo in London

Defying the pre-Christmas lull in City laterals, Latham & Watkins last week returned to Clifford Chance to bolster its finance bench as DLA Piper expanded its infrastructure disputes team with a double hire.

Latham hired CC infrastructure and real estate veteran Stephen Curtis to its London finance team. Curtis, who had been at the Magic Circle firm since 1991 and a partner since 2000, advises on structured finance transactions in the regulated utility, infrastructure and real estate sectors, as well as corporate securitisations.

Latham partner and chair of the global structured finance and securitisation practice Sanjev Warna-kula-suriya told Legal Business: ‘Steve has a world of experience in the structured debt sector, focusing on infrastructure finance and structured real estate. That fits very well into our existing infrastructure finance capability.

‘Infrastructure spend is a very important political and economic target for governments. In the European Union, there’s a huge amount of infrastructure investment plans. From a macro perspective, there will be demand for more infrastructure investment. From a finance perspective, the changes to the regulatory capital rulings make it difficult for banks. We have been seeing alternative investment players coming in to provide the financings,’ added Warna-kula-suriya.

Latham last hired from Clifford Chance back in August 2018 when infrastructure private equity heavyweight Brendan Moylan joined the corporate team.

His was the highest profile PE move from CC to Latham since the US giant recruited practice co-head Oliver Felsenstein in 2015. Nevertheless, it is a well-trodden path, with David Walker, Tom Evans and Kem Ihenacho all having gone the same way between 2013 and 2014.

DLA meanwhile, appointed partners Bob Maynard and Caroline Pope from BCLP to its litigation and regulatory practice in London.

Maynard focuses on litigation, arbitration, adjudication, mediation, project advisory and forensic investigation work while Pope has experience in alternative dispute resolution, particularly mediation and expert determination.

DLA UK head of construction, engineering & infrastructure disputes Paul Giles told Legal Business: ‘Bob and Caroline are tier 1 partners and give a mixture of domestic UK market presence as well as international.

‘We were underrepresented in this area for a firm of our size in the UK. We have been steadily growing over the last few years. We wanted to increase our presence and profile in London but also in the international market,’ added Giles.

Other recent appointments to the construction, engineering & infrastructure disputes London team include partner Anna Mills who joined from Hogan Lovells in January 2019.

Elsewhere, TLT added partner Liz Cotton to its employment bench in Manchester. She joined from JMW where she was head of employment. Cotton has experience in contentious and non-contentious employment law issues.

TLT employment partner Ed Cotton told Legal Business: ‘Liz’s extensive experience in the retail sector is a great addition to our existing specialism in this market. We’ve built a national employment team that covers a wide range of specialisms and Liz’s experience will help to broaden this out in a number of areas.’

‘We’re seeing increasing demand from clients across a range of contentious and non-contentious issues, from redundancy and board disputes to whistleblowing and discrimination claims,’ Cotton added.

Dentons hired partner Oliver Dreher to its capital markets practice in Frankfurt. Dreher joined from CMS where he led the debt capital markets team. He has experience in advising German and international banks and other clients on bond transactions, bonded loans, registered bonds, derivatives, and clearing of financial instruments.

Further afield, Squire Patton Boggs launched a global commodities and shipping group in Singapore and hired partners Barry Stimpson and Jessica Kenworthy from Reed Smith to lead the new team.

Stimpson has over 25 years’ experience in disputes and advisory work in the international trade, shipping, offshore energy, construction and insurance sectors while Kenworthy covers complex commodity financings and ship financings. The commodities and shipping group will offer a range of legal services in international trade and shipping and across all commodity sectors.

Chairman and global CEO of Squires Mark Ruehlmann told Legal Business: ‘Barry and Jessica are an ideal fit for us – they are highly respected in their field, and well connected to the sectors and industries they advise. They are experienced in building teams and nurturing talent and have great commercial flair; and are highly collaborative in their approach to client solutions.

‘With the significant investment into our commodities and shipping group, we can continue to build on our success in Singapore, Australia and the Asia Pacific region. We will see expansion with new hires to strengthen the current team, not only in Singapore but also in the wider region and in commercial hubs such as London,’ added Ruehlmann.