Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Mishcon expands in Singapore as Squire takes on Madrid buyout team

Bouncing back from a swathe of pre-IPO disputes partner exits, Mishcon de Reya has made a senior contentious hire in Singapore.

Arriving with significant in-house experience from his most recent role as senior legal counsel at QBE Insurance, Henry Winter is a dual commercial litigation and arbitration specialist who also has considerable experience dealing with regulators across Asia Pacific.

He becomes the fourth partner at Mishcon’s Singapore branch, which opened in May of last year. Tahirah Ara, managing partner of the office, commented: ‘The firm’s growth plans in Asia are no secret, and Henry’s hire serves to reinforce our strategic commitment to the region. Henry brings with him a wealth of proven dispute resolution experience and a track record of successfully delivering positive outcomes for his clients.’

In Madrid, Squire Patton Boggs (SPB) has made a significant set of transactional hires, appointing M&A and private equity expert Teresa Zueco as managing partner of its Spanish operations. She arrives from DLA Piper alongside two legal directors and six associates.

Zueco is a 20-year veteran counsel to cross-border M&A and private equity transactions for clients in the healthcare, hospitality, energy and technology sectors. Jonathan Jones, SPB’s European managing partner, said: ‘Teresa and her team are well established and highly regarded corporate and private equity lawyers, not just in Spain, but across the European market. Our corporate and private equity practices continue to expand, and we have successfully broadened the scope and depth of the work we do for our clients in the private equity sphere. With Teresa and her team we can offer further high-quality cross-border transactional expertise for private equity firms, Spanish corporates and multinationals looking to invest in Spain and across the continent.’

In a major in-house move, solar developer Lightsource bp has appointed Lee Young as its group general counsel. Young, who has significant in-house experience from his most recent post as legal director for energy major TotalEnergies, will oversee Lightsource bp’s legal, company secretarial and compliance functions.

According to a Lightsource bp statement, Young’s M&A experience across the Americas, EMEA and Asia will be leveraged as part of Lightsource bp’s ‘next stage of global expansion’. Young said of his move: ‘The company is attracting considerable investment from leading financial institutions around the world. I am looking forward to being part of this new phase of global growth around the world. That pace of this growth presents its own set of challenges but a huge opportunity to drive the energy transition from the front.’

Kingsley Napley has launched a new tax practice in London via the arrival of partner Matt Spencer, who joins from DAC Beachcroft. He advises on the structuring of a wide range of corporate and real estate transactions including M&A, land transfers, developments and leases. Spencer is also an expert in employment tax issues.

In conjunction with partner Laura Harper, who joined in the summer from McDermott Will & Emery, Spencer will lead and expand the firm’s tax capabilities. Spencer said that he and Harper would deliver a practice ‘with a focus on providing advice in plain English’. He added: ‘We look forward to assisting the various excellent teams at Kingsley Napley and their clients who will benefit from our skill-sets.’

Likewise, Kennedys is developing its growing white-collar crime practice with the hire of partner Iskander Fernandez from BLM. Fernandez typically acts for high-net worth individuals and corporate clients across a range of white-collar crime proceedings involving allegations of bribery, corruption, fraud, money laundering and tax evasion being brought by the Serious Fraud Office, Crown Prosecution Service or HMRC.

Despite being based in London, Fernandez’s practice will be focused across a range of jurisdictions. He said: ‘Kennedys has clearly invested in its corporate and commercial offering so this is a real opportunity to secure large instructions across a truly global network, particularly given the scope of the Bribery Act and the number of foreign companies opening offices in the UK or with existing operations in the UK.’

Holland & Knight has hired asset finance specialist Richard Sharman as a partner from Bird & Bird in London. A notable coup for Holland & Knight, Sharman was previously head of Bird & Bird’s asset finance practice. He focuses mainly on aircraft and transportation assets, handling complex and highly structured asset finance and corporate transactions.

Philip Durham, head of Holland & Knight’s asset finance practice, commented: ‘Given the rapid expansion of alternative financiers in the aviation sector, Richard brings a cutting-edge practice that complements and adds an extra dimension to our traditional aviation lending practice.’

Finally, Hunton Andrews Kurth has expanded its global energy and infrastructure team with the hire of project finance partner Sean Conaty in Tokyo. Joining from Hogan Lovells, Conaty has advised on some of the most transformative infrastructure projects throughout south-east Asia.

Jeffrey Schroeder, head of Hunton Andrews Kurth’s energy and infrastructure team, said: ‘Sean’s deep well of knowledge and experience in the Asian market fits well with our existing strengths in the region and reflects the firm’s commitment to maintaining a leading bench of energy industry lawyers to serve the evolving and increasing needs of our clients across the globe.’