Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Magic Circle duo lose international players while Morgan Lewis continues City advance

The past week has seen Allen & Overy (A&O) and Clifford Chance (CC) lose senior lawyers internationally as Morgan Lewis & Bockius bulked up in London with a three-partner hire from K&L Gates.

In New York, A&O IP partner Paul Keller has left the firm after nearly five years to join Norton Rose Fulbright. Before A&O, Keller was a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr between 2005 and 2010.

Keller focuses on patent litigation, trade secret litigation, IP due diligence and transactional matters. He has represented clients in all stages of lawsuits from pre-suit investigation to final disposition of jury and bench trials and ITC investigations.

A&O has also seen the departure of banking and finance partner Chris Robertson over in Sydney, who has joined King & Wood Mallesons as a consultant. Robertson has over 20 years’ experience in domestic and international finance, including syndicated and corporate debt transactions, leveraged and acquisition finance and secondary debt trades. Before A&O, he was a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills.

Berkeley Cox, KWM’s managing partner of banking and finance and dispute resolution said: ‘Chris’ appointment is an important and strategic investment in the growth of our deep and genuinely full-service banking and finance practice. Combined with the recent appointment, also in Sydney of Andrew Maynes as a partner, it strengthens our position.’

Over in Germany, Reed Smith launched its European IP practice with the hire of IP partner Anette Gärtner from Clifford Chance. Gärtner will join the recently launched Frankfurt office – which recently opened its doors in June – in August and leaves Clifford Chance’s Munich office where she is currently of counsel.

In her new role, Gärtner will work closely with the firm’s IP team in Munich, led by partner Alexander Klett. Her main focus is patent litigation, in particular cross-border infringement and nullification proceedings. She also provides non-litigious and strategic advice on licensing programmes, as well as employee inventions.

‘Our commitment to growing our full-service German offering continues,’ said Stefan Kugler, Frankfurt and Munich managing partner. ‘We have a well-established IP team in Munich and we’ve made a strong start to our launch in Frankfurt. Both will now work hand-in-hand to support clients across Germany.’

Klett added: ‘The creation of the European Unified Patent System and the Unified Patent Court will impact the practice of patent law and particularly patent litigation in Europe. Therefore, Anette’s arrival not only builds our coverage across Germany, but will also ensure we’re in an even stronger position to support clients across our European platform.’

Meanwhile Morgan Lewis has recruited finance partner trio Matthew Duncan, Julian Goodman and Paul Matthews from K&L Gates in London. The team joins Morgan Lewis as it expands its global structured transactions capability to add to its offering in the US, Asia and Europe.

Duncan advises on banking, capital markets and derivatives matters and has been involved in securitisation since it arrived in the UK in the late 1980s, while Matthews tends to represent funds, investment managers, financial institutions, banks and dealers on derivatives.

Goodman was promoted to partner last year in a 52-strong promotions round. He focuses on real estate and advises clients on property finance loan origination, commercial mortgage-backed security and residential mortgage-backed security transactions.

‘A strong bench of structured transactions lawyers based in our London office is essential to our ability to service clients in the UK, across Europe, the US and Asia,’ said practice leader Reed Auerbach. ‘The addition of Matthew, Julian, and Paul – and ultimately their larger team – keeps us ahead of the game in our ability to serve our clients, particularly hedge funds, as they grow increasingly global.’