Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Magic Circle provides talent as UK players strengthen at home and abroad

Last week saw the notable hires of highly experienced partners by rival firms in the UK, with the magic circle providing the source for some of the most high-profile acquisitions.

The most notable recruit came in Asia, where veteran silk Judith Gill QC is set to leave Allen & Overy to take up a position in 20 Essex Street’s Singapore offering within Maxwell Chambers on 1 May. Gill, who was admitted onto the roll in 1985, and said: ‘A&O has given me a level of encouragement, support and opportunity beyond all my expectations. I have had the privilege of working with immensely talented and dedicated individuals there at every level for more than three decades and I will miss them greatly.’

Another one-time A&O partner was involved in a landmark appointment this week, as Jeffrey Golden  became joint head of chambers at 3 Hare Court  alongside Simon Davenport QC- a first for the Bar in appointing a non-barrister to head a set. Before becoming a member of 3 Hare Court in 2014, he was the first non-English law qualified partner and founding partner of the US law practice at A&O. Prior to this, he practised in the New York and London offices of Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

Golden said: ‘In a long career not short in excitement I can’t think of any other opportunity to make a positive difference that matches this one. 3 Hare Court is a fantastic set comprised of standout individuals. Through each practice area runs the common thread of international work, which is a perfect fit for my experience and as to which I hope I will be able to offer guidance.’

Meanwhile, Eversheds Sutherland strengthened its EU and competition practice with the hire of partner Rod Lambert, who returns to his former firm after five years at Brodies. The highly-experienced practitioner, who also did a stint at Fulbright & Jaworski, will be based in London and Brussels advising on antitrust and trade sanctions.

Clyde & Co also made moves in the City, with the hire of Jane Williams as part of its professional and financial disputes team. She joins from Womble Bond Dickinson where she specialised in the defence of professional negligence claims.

Andrew Blair, a partner in the Clydes group, said: ‘Jane works for some of the world’s biggest insurers and her work dovetails very well with our existing team.’

Holman Fenwick Willan, meanwhile, also made lateral hires, enhancing its London bench with the arrival of partner Nick Fisher. The experienced maritime litigator will join the firm’s London office as of 1 May from Fishers Solicitors.

Newly merged Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) saw the departure of Dubai office head Mohammed Kamal after the firm completed its transatlantic merger last week. Kamal, who previously spearheaded Hogan Lovells’ Middle East real estate practice, will join Watson Farley & Williams as the firm launches its own real estate practice.

Finally closer to home in Europe, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer saw Paris head Elie Kleiman depart to join Jones Day. Kleiman joins the US firm as a partner in its global disputes practice.

Greg Shumaker, head of disputes at Jones Day, said: ‘Elie brings us broad arbitration, litigation and transactional experience across various jurisdictions and industry sectors. His decision to join us sends a very clear message that we remain committed to providing clients access to the premier lawyers in Europe.’