Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: McDermott leads busy City recruitment round as in-house and international hires dominate

City laterals were active last week in a bolstered global recruitment round, as McDermot Will & Emery was joined by Capsticks and Bates Wells Braithwaite (BWB) in making London plays. Meanwhile Eversheds Sutherland was among the firms looking to prise talent away from in-house teams as Kirkland & Ellis and DLA Piper made significant moves abroad.

McDermott led the City recruitment round, hiring structured finance partner Rachel Kelly to the firm’s corporate group. Kelly joins from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner where she specialised in structured finance and debt capital markets during a three-year spell.

She will now work closely with new real estate finance partners Laurence Rogers, Neville Wright and Tom Calnan, who all joined the firm in May. Jeffrey Steiner, global head of the firm’s real estate finance group, said: ‘Rachel brings a level of experience and sophistication that will further enhance the team’s ability to support clients in highly complex transactions.’

BWB also strengthened its London bench, hiring Malcolm Headley as a partner in its real estate team. Headley joins from Gowling WLG where he was a partner in the firm’s real estate commercial development and investment practice. Headley had been a member of the real estate team at legacy Lawrence Graham for over a decade, while his arrival at BWB brings the firm’s partner headcount to 38.

Capsticks also made a City play, securing Stephen Tainish from Blake Morgan where he was partner. Tainish will now lead the firm’s medical technology group, bringing with him 15 years’ experience from the healthcare sector.

Eversheds was among the firms recruiting from in-house teams last week, landing Barclays project legal lead Naomi Seward, who returns to private practice as a member of Eversheds’ consumer finance practice in London. Seward specialises in consumer credit and regulation, with experience advising high street banks and building societies in both in-house and private practice, as Eversheds sets about expanding its retail financial services offering.

Meanwhile south west firm Foot Anstey also recruited from in-house, securing Mark Millar from his role as GC and company secretary at AA. Millar joins the firm as a partner within its corporate and commercial team, returning to private practice after 15 years leading in-house teams, including stints at AA, Dominos, and Future.

Kirkland & Ellis made the most significant hire of the international recruitment round, strengthening at the expense of rival Latham & Watkins with the hire of Sean Wheeler as partner in the firm’s corporate practice group.

Wheeler will join Kirkland in the firm’s Houston office, bringing 20 years’ worth of experience handling securities offerings, M&A, and corporate governance matters within the energy industry. Having led on 23 IPOs in the past five years, Wheeler represents a significant hire for the Chicago-bred firm. He had previously served as co-chair of the oil and gas industry group at Latham, and was vice chair of the firm’s corporate department as well as serving as managing partner of Latham’s Houston office.

Jeffrey Hammes, chairman of Kirkland’s global management executive committee, said: ‘Sean is a leader in the Houston legal community and a decorated veteran in energy M&A and capital markets. His significant experience assisting clients on sophisticated securities and M&A matters makes him a perfect fit for Kirkland’s Houston office at a time of increasing demand from our energy clients and will add further scale to our market-leading energy capital markets practice.’

Cooley ensured Kirkland saw moves both ways last week by securing the hire of Henry Yin in Beijing, who will now act in Cooley’s business department. Yin had previously been a partner in Kirkland’s Hong Kong office, focusing on M&A, private equity and early and late-stage venture capital and growth investments.

‘Henry’s arrival perfectly complements Cooley’s global growth strategy,’ said Mike Lincoln, chair of Cooley’s global business department. ‘Building out our Beijing presence is the firm’s latest step in finding next-generation leaders to continue our history of achievement across the Asia-Pacific region.’

In Australia, Pinsent Masons recruited banking and finance partner Jeremy King from Corrs Chambers Westgarth where he was partner for over seven years. King brings experience in project and infrastructure finance as well as structured asset and acquisition finance and will be based in Pinsents’ Melbourne office.

Closer to home, DLA Piper made its third corporate partner hire in Germany in the last month with the addition of private equity partner Simon Vogel, who joins the firm from Dentons where he had been partner for a year. Vogel will now enhance DLA’s corporate offering in Munich, working alongside recently-appointed partner Gerald Schumann.