Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: Linklaters makes a strategic hire in Europe, Hunton & Williams expands in the City while the LSB appoints a new chief

Last week saw Linklaters make a key hire from DLA Piper in Frankfurt as it sought to expand its cross-border litigation offering, Bird & Bird increase its offering in Sweden while Hunton & Williams did the same in the City developing its energy and natural resources team. Also in the UK, the Legal Services Board (LSB) appointed a new head, Richard Moriarty.

Linklaters hired DLA Piper’s German patent litigation chief Julia Schönbohm as partner in its dispute resolution division in Frankfurt. She established DLA’s German patent litigation practice having joined the firm in January 2008, and been counsel at Clifford Chance for five years before that.

She has experience in cross-border patent infringement matters, technology matters, and trademark and competition law transactions. Rupert Bellinghausen, head of Linklaters German dispute resolution practice, said: ‘As we are expanding, our objective is to represent our clients in any significant cross-border court, arbitration and mediation proceeding. We are now also able to do so, in patent litigation matters in Germany – an internationally important place of jurisdiction. This fits our global strategy perfectly.’

Also on the continent, Bird & Bird‘s Swedish offering was bolstered as Johanna Olsson is set to return to the firm’s Stockholm office in January, after a one year stint as general counsel (GC) at Grontmij, an engineering company. Prior to working at Grontmij, Olsson spent six and half years working as an associate in Bird & Bird’s Stockholm office. Before this, she was GC at the real estate developer Vasallen for nearly five years. The firm also made up Catharina Baerselman who heads the Public Procurement Group in Stockholm.

Meanwhile, in London, Hunton & Williams has expanded its energy and infrastructure practice with the hire of Fasken Martineau project finance partner Andrew Thomas. He helped develop an energy and natural resources-focused international finance practice at the Canadian firm after joining from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher where he had been a partner for 10 years. Key deals he has worked on include Star Petroleum’s $2bn oil refinery in Thailand, and GTB Gas TransBolivianos’ investment in the $2.15bn Bolivia to Brazil natural gas pipeline.

Bridget Treacy, Hunton & Williams’ London office managing partner said: ‘We see Andrew as a key figure in the growth of our global energy practice area, an industry in which we already have a significant presence. We are delighted to have him join us.’

Also in the UK, the LSB appointed Richard Moriarty as its new chief executive to start in early 2015. In the interim Julie Myers, the LSB’s corporate director, will take on the chief executive’s accounting officer responsibilities while strategy director Caroline Wallace will lead on the CEO’s regulatory duties.

He joins from Affinity Water where he was director of regulation, and brings with him a combination of public and private sector experience across regulation for both providers and consumers. Before Affinity Water, he was deputy chair at HCA Regulation Committee for around a year and a half, and was director of economic regulation and competition policy at Civil Aviation Authority for three years.