Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: McDermott makes Paris antitrust move as HSF bolsters German corporate offering

The past week has seen a number of moves between Global 100 players in Europe, as well as some significant hires in Asia and the UK.

McDermott Will & Emery has hired antitrust partner Frédéric Pradelles from Latham & Watkins in Paris. He is recognised for his strength in French and European competition law and regularly advises major French and international companies active in the banking/finance, services, transport, media, hospitality and information technology sectors on issues relating to abuse of dominance, cartels and distribution.

He began his career at Gide and then Freshfields as an associate. He joined Latham in 2003 and was promoted to partner in 2008.

Grégoire Andrieux, managing partner of the Paris office said Pradelles’ arrival ‘represents a considerable coup for us in providing first class advice and service to our French and global clients. His in-depth knowledge of competition law and his experience in cases with an international dimension will enhance our full range of services. His appointment is in line with our strategy to provide connectivity across our practices and a global approach to the cases entrusted to us.’

Meanwhile, Herbert Smith Freehills has hired Jan Eltzschig and Heike Schmitz as corporate partners based in the firm’s Düsseldorf office in Germany. They join from DLA Piper in Cologne, where they were a partner and a counsel in the firm’s corporate group.

Eltzschig is a corporate/M&A partner with a focus on the insurance sector. His practice spans domestic and cross-border M&A as well as joint ventures and, in addition, he has broad experience in general corporate and commercial matters  including corporate restructurings, board matters, corporate governance, shareholder disputes and compliance. He regularly advises insurance companies and insurance distribution companies on complex and cross-border M&A and corporate projects, including acquisitions, portfolio transfers, setting-up of insurance group structures as well as joint-venture and business combination agreements.

Schmitz advises investors from the insurance industry, fund managers and asset managers on investments, investment processes and general regulatory issues. She supports her clients in the establishment and structuring of funds, the on-boarding of investors as well as on the distribution of funds and the development of distribution structures in Germany and the EU. A particular focus  is advising funds and insurers on ESG and sustainability aspects, especially with regard to the EU Sustainable Finance Strategy.

Stephen Wilkinson, joint global head of corporate, said: ‘Both Jan and Heike are great additions to our global practice and their expertise will tremendously enhance our comprehensive service to clients across the network. These strategic hires reflect the increasing client demand and opportunities in the market.’

In Asia, HFW has added to  its global disputes practice with the hire of Karen Cheung in Hong Kong. She handles a broad range of commercial litigation and arbitration, and joins HFW as a partner from local firm Li & Partners. She previously worked at DLA Piper and Ince.

Cheung advises state-owned and multi-national clients on complex, cross-border disputes, including general, corporate and commercial litigation; white collar crime; regulatory matters; shareholder disputes; SFC investigations; and judicial reviews.

She also advises ultra-high net worth individuals and families in Hong Kong and China on a wide range of disputes – including contentious probate litigation, matrimonial proceedings and land disputes – and has more than a decade’s experience as an accredited mediator.

She is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators, and has handled over 50 international arbitrations – including commercial and shipping arbitration under the HKIAC, LMAA and ICC rules – as well as arbitration-related court proceedings.

Global offshore firm Harneys has appointed Calamus Huang to its corporate practice in Shanghai as partner. She joins from Sidley, where she spent 10 years in the China corporate practice based in Shanghai. Prior to that, she worked in the Hong Kong offices of Latham & Watkins and Linklaters.

An experienced strategic investment and M&A lawyer, her major clients include private equity and venture capital investors, listed and private companies as well as other strategic investors and multinationals. She advises on a wide range of cross-border and multi-jurisdictional corporate matters, with a particular focus on private equity transactions, private and public M&As, joint venture formations and initial public offerings. She is a native Mandarin speaker and is fluent in English and Cantonese.

Withers has announced the arrival of partner Ann Wicks in San Francisco, where she will help build the firm’s California employment practice. She most recently led her own practice, where she worked for 15 years, following a successful career in BigLaw. She has also worked closely with Doug Mandell, head of Withers’ founders practice, both at his previous firm and on matters since he joined Withers in 2020.

Mandell commented: ‘We are thrilled to have Ann join us to build an employment practice in San Francisco. I have worked with Ann for over two decades and it is a pleasure to have her as my partner. Ann’s experience makes her an ideal fit to further enhance Withers’ unique focus on private clients, as well as the companies they launch.’

In the UK, Trowers & Hamlins has recruited Chen Ikeogu to its banking and finance team in London. He has extensive experience advising a wide variety of  lender and borrower clients across a number of sectors within real estate finance. Chen’s lender clients include clearing banks, private banks, non-bank lenders, debt funds, challenger banks and family offices. His practice covers all aspects of real estate finance, including bilateral and syndicated investment and development deals across a variety of asset classes.

Ikeogu joins Trowers from Maples Teesdale, where he led the finance team for six years. Prior to that, he gained considerable real estate finance experience at Shepherd and  Wedderburn, Pinsent Masons and Taylor Wessing.

Pinsent Masons has continued to bolster its ESG offering with a senior appointment. It has named Michael Watson as the new head of its climate change mitigation and sustainability team, and appointed former Ofgem general counsel, Euan McVicar, as senior climate adviser.

Launched in 2020, the team comprises over 50 professionals globally and supports clients in their bids to address the effects of climate change, facilitating the development of the firm’s services and advisory products. It also coordinates internal climate and sustainability initiatives to reduce the firm’s own environmental impact.

A former Pinsents projects partner, McVicar is highly experienced in advising on areas related to climate change, serving as GC and chair of the investment committee at the Green Investment Bank, and latterly, GC and executive committee member at Ofgem.

He said: ‘Businesses are alert to the fact that having a climate and sustainability strategy is no longer optional, it’s integral to their licence to operate, and indeed can also be a licence to innovate. They have a renewed focus and are seeking to achieve more than compliance; they want to embrace the opportunities for progress and thrive in the changing environment they’re operating in.’