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Revolving doors: Mayer Brown lures White & Case’s funds chief as A&O continues its US expansion

Mayer Brown has bolstered its London corporate and securities team with the addition of White & Case’s head of funds and investment management, Matthew Griffin.

Griffin acts for sponsors, institutional investors and sovereign wealth funds on fund formations and fund investments and his appointment marks the firm’s push globally to strengthen its PE team.

Perry Yam, co-leader of the global corporate and securities practice, said of Griffin’s arrival: ‘Having built up our funds practices with new hires in our New York and Chicago offices, we are delighted that Matt will be joining Tim Nosworthy on the fund product group in London. Matt has extensive experience in this space and complements the firm’s experience working with sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia, as well as acting for hedge funds and real estate funds, where we are active globally.’

His arrival follows the hire of Tarun Patel and Electra Callan from Ropes & Gray last year, who were both promoted to the partnership on the 1 January. According to Yam, these additions illustrate the firm’s ambitious growth plans for its London team. ‘We are in huge growth mode in London. We now have 14 partners and we would like to bring in another four to six partners this calendar year to support our growth in our key product groups of private equity, M&A and capital markets.’

Meanwhile, Allen & Overy continues to pursue its growth plans stateside. It strengthened its project, energy, natural resources and infrastructure George ’Chip’ Cannon in Washington DC from Akin Gump. Cannon’s addition follows A&O’s 2021 acquisition of 21 lawyers from Akin Gump’s project finance and renewables team.

His arrival takes the number of lateral partner hires made by the firm in the US in the last two years to 34. The stream of laterals, which included the acquisition of a seven partners from White & Case’s technology practice in August 2021, can be seen as an effort to compensate for its failure to secure a transatlantic merger with West Coast firm O’Melveny & Myers in 2019 .

Also in the US, Hogan Lovells has further bolstered its M&A team with three new partners in New York. The firm lured Luke Iovine from Paul Hastings, as well as Linklaters’ duo Peter Cohen-Millstein and Megan Ridley-Kaye, who specialises in energy and natural resources transactions. This follows the addition of Parik Dasgupta from Reed Smith earlier this month.

Elsewhere, laterals in the global disputes space are heating up. Last week, international arbitration specialist firm Three Crowns announced the launch of its Singapore office. The team will be led by Daryl Chew who joins from Shearman & Sterling and includes Three Crowns partners Simon Elliot and counsel Penny Martin, who will relocating from Paris and London respectively.

For Three Crowns, this is its fifth office launch and first in Asia. The firm which launched in London, Paris and New York in 2014, expanded into the Middle East in 2019 when it launched its Bahrain office.

As one leaves another arrives for Shearman’s international arbitration practice. The firm has hired commercial arbitration practitioner Matthew Skinner from Jones Day’s Singapore office in London.

Skinner, who is recognised as a leading individual in The Legal 500’s APAC guide, has particular experience in oil and gas, pharmaceutical, mining and energy sector disputes. He will join the firm’s London office.

Of his arrival Alex Bevan, head of Shearman’s global international arbitration practice, said: ‘Matthew has extensive experience representing clients in complex bet-the-company disputes. This fits with Shearman’s top-rated international arbitration team and adds to our London bench strength and English law capabilities, areas the firm has identified for growth.’

These most recent changes follow the firm’s uphill battle to recoup from the high-profile six-lawyer defection to Gaillard Banifatemi Shelbaya Disputes last year.

Commenting on how the practice has adapted to the departures, international arbitration partner Garreth Wong said: ‘Shearman & Sterling has a leading global international arbitration practice that is known across the world, and under Alex Bevan’s leadership remains an international arbitration force. Our stellar team compliments the firm’s other leading practices and is fully integrated across key jurisdictions, providing the best possible service to our clients globally.’

Mishcon de Reya has also bolstered its international arbitration team with the addition of Alexander Slade from Vinson & Elkins. This follows the arrival of Henry Winter to the firm’s Singapore office in November 2021.

Slade marks Mishcon’s fifth partner hire in 2022. Other recent arrivals include new partner David Whittaker, who joined the firm’s tax and wealth planning group from Baker McKenzie where he was recognised as a rising star for personal tax, trusts and probate by The Legal 500.

It has been a productive week for Eversheds Sutherland. The firm welcomed retail finance partner Joanne Owen back from A&O, where she was head of the consumer credit practice. Before moving to the magic circle firm Owen, who counts Consumer Credit Act 1974 work among her specialisms, was a principal associate at Eversheds Sutherland.

The firm also added Sebastien Bonneau in London. Bonneau founded Paris independent legal practice AYNFG in 2012 and has a particular niche in transactions involving data centres. Meanwhile in Paris, the firm has hired real estate partner Patrick Gerry. Gerry will join alongside three of his colleagues from Ashurst.

Also in Paris, Addleshaw Goddard added insolvency partner Georges-Louis Harang from Hoche Avocats. This follows the launch of its Paris office January 2021, and first lateral hire of Michaël Cousin, antitrust partner from Ashurst, in August.

In Milan, Herbert Smith Freehills has launched a corporate crime and investigations practice with the hire of four-person team led by Enrico Maria Mancuso.

In Copenhagen, The Legal 500-recognised leading individual for shipping, Jens Mathiasen, has joined UK-headquartered HFW, launching its Denmark practice.

This was the second office launch for HFW in as many weeks following its expansion into British Virgin Islands by acquisition of offshore law firm Lennox Paton earlier this month.

In Scotland, Shepherd and Wedderburn has hired Ian Bowie in Glasgow from MacRoberts, where he was head of real estate. Bowie has a particular focus on transactions in the energy and natural resources sector.

Back in London, Howard Kennedy added to its private client practice with the hire of Monika Byrska, who will join its contentious trusts and estates team from Thomson Snell & Passmore. This is the latest lateral hire to the practice, which welcomed Nina Lake in April 2021 from Child & Child, Reshmi Manekporia from BCLP in May and Melissa Doorman from Mishcon de Reya, who joined in September of the same year.

Finally, Goodwin has announced the addition of Eric Lim in London, who specialises in corporate and investment fund transactions in the real estate sector. Lim joins from Baker McKenzie, where he was a senior associate.