Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Moves in disputes and antitrust as Paul Weiss continues sweep of London recruits

Simpson Thacher begins this week’s lateral hire round-up with its recruitment of Legal 500 international arbitration leading individual David Edwards from Skadden. Edwards will co-lead the firm’s European disputes practice alongside Tyler Robinson.

The hire brings the London office to a total of five dispute partners: Edwards, Robinson, and antitrust specialists Antonio Bavasso, Ross Ferguson, and Étienne Renaudeau. All three antitrust partners are also listed as partners in the firm’s Brussels office, which opened in September 2021 and is headed by Bavasso and Renaudeau.

‘We intend to grow our disputes capabilities in London and the addition of David is an important step towards that goal’, London office head Jason Glover told Legal Business.

Paul Weiss has continued its London push with the hire of Ropes & Gray competition partner Annie Herdman. She has experience in multijurisdictional merger control and foreign investment strategy and filings, as well as in EU and UK cartel investigations and compliance.

A Legal 500 next generation partner in EU and competition, Herdman made partner at Kirkland in 2019 before moving to Ropes & Gray in March 2022. She joins Paul Weiss as London head of antitrust and foreign direct investment. Her hire follows that of competition heavyweight Nicole Kar, who joined the firm from Linklaters in December as global co-chair of antitrust.

Sidley Austin has lost its London investment funds head James Oussedik to Proskauer. A Legal 500 leading individual for private fund formation and management, Oussedik made partner at Sidley in 2016. He joins Proskauer as a partner in the firm’s private investment funds group and will co-lead its global credit funds and sovereign wealth funds initiatives.

‘It was a strategic priority for us to ensure that we have a senior expert who sits at the heart of both funds and credit’, said private funds group co-head Nigel van Zyl. ‘James fits that bill.’ Oussedik, meanwhile, was attracted by both ‘the quality and scale of the funds offering’ and the firm’s commitment to private capital more broadly. ‘Credit is becoming an increasingly important component of private capital’, he told Legal Business. ‘This move offered me the chance to be in the right place at the right time to capitalise on that.’

Van Zyl pointed to tech, healthcare, and financial services as three key sectors for Proskauer’s private capital clients but noted that it aims to develop a broad offering that can be ‘sector-agnostic’. With a long history in the US and an already established base in London, Van Zyl also expressed a commitment to building out in Europe, particularly in Paris, where the firm hired a 19-lawyer corporate team from Shearman & Sterling in September 2023.

White & Case made two London partner hires, bringing Stephen Shergold into its ESG and sustainability practice and Anthony Tama into its global capital markets practice. Shergold was a partner at Dentons and chair of the firm’s ESG steering group committee, while Tama joins from Cahill. Shergold is also in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame for environmental law.

Adrian Chiodo has left Paul Hastings to join Covington as European head of the firm’s leveraged finance practice. In conversation with Legal Business, Chiodo was enthusiastic about the chance to ‘kickstart’ the firm’s European leveraged finance offering – and optimistic about the prospects of the wider market. ‘It is coming back – if you speak to key investors, they feel the same. And you can see it in law firms, too: they’re getting ready for the next upswing.’

Crowell & Moring has hired Pillsbury partner and Legal 500 Hall of Famer for tech, media, and telecoms Rafi Azim-Khan. With a broad practice covering market entry, technology and product launch, data privacy and cybersecurity, and IP, Azim-Khan will join Crowell’s offices in London and San Francisco and will lead the firm’s digital law practice in Europe.

Keystone Law has announced a raft of hires, bringing over a total of 13 lawyers: 12 as partners and one as a consultant solicitor. The new arrivals notably included two Legal 500 Hall of Famers: Hogan Lovells’ Charles Rix, ranked in insurance: corporate and regulatory, and Forsters’ Jonathan Ross, ranked in property litigation. The firm has also brought over Legal 500 clinical negligence: defendant leading individual Matthew Trinder from Browne Jacobson, as well as Will Robinson, who was head of legal at Anglo American.

Financial services lawyer Richard Ellis has returned to Charles Russell Speechlys as a partner after leaving for McDonnell Ellis in August 2022. A regulatory specialist with a focus on fintech, Ellis joins the firm’s financial services regulation and funds group.

Howard Kennedy has grown its real estate team with its hire of Beth Myers, who made partner at Cripps in May 2021, and has experience ranging from commercial landlord and tenant work to corporate acquisitions and disposals.

Bird & Bird has continued to expand in life sciences after its December hire of Nicole Jadeja into its IP practice, bringing over her Pinsent Masons colleague and transactional life sciences lawyer Mario Subramaniam. A legal director at Pinsents, Subramaniam joins the firm as a partner.

‘Life sciences is the second biggest sector we have, behind tech and comms’, international life sciences and healthcare group co-head Mark Hilton told Legal Business. ‘It’s the fastest-growing sector, and we see lots of opportunities for that growth to accelerate.’

Jadeja concurred: ‘A lot of firms say they do life sciences work, but it’s important to scratch below the surface. Having one or two people who have done a couple of life sciences transactions is very different to having the bench strength to support life sciences companies in all areas, which Bird & Bird does.’

Overseas, Allen & Overy followed up its November hires of Norton Rose Fulbright cybersecurity incident response partners Ffion Flockhart and Charlie Weston-Simons with the announcement of a full five-partner team. The firm has brought over three more Norton Rose partners to join Flockhart as global head of cybersecurity and Weston-Simons: Sydney-based Anna Gamvros, who will lead the APAC privacy and cyber practice; Perth-based Ross Phillipson; and New York-based Anna Rudawski.

In Chicago, meanwhile, Clyde & Co has hired a nine-lawyer team led by Lewis Brisbois Chicago managing partner Danny Worker. Worker’s practice focuses on insurance coverage and bad-faith litigation and the hires bring the firm’s Chicago office, opened in 2017, to a total of 29 lawyers and eight partners. It continues a push to expand in the US that saw it open in Boston earlier this month.

Freshfields has announced it would bring Deutsche Bank chief innovation officer Gil Perez into the firm as global chief innovation officer from April. Silicon Valley-based Perez has experience working with clients to assist them in adopting novel technologies, including generative AI.

HFW has appointed Mike Giles as its new chief financial officer. Formerly CFO at Fieldfisher, Giles comes to the firm amid a year of expansion that has seen it make a raft of lateral hires around the world and launch a new office in Shenzhen, with strong financial results to show.

Julia Spain has joined Ashurst’s risk advisory business from KPMG. Spain is a member of the UK government’s Cyber Advisory Board, and has extensive experiences in counterterrorism, with nine years’ practice in government intelligence.

In another non-legal appointment, Irwin Mitchell has brought in Richard Baigent as an international trade consultant. Baigent joins from the Department of Business and Trade (DBT), where he was international trade adviser for the financial, professional and business advisory sector. His role at Irwin Mitchell will see him focus on ‘facilitating strong working relationships between Irwin Mitchell’s desk’leads and sector heads, with the relevant teams at DBT’, the firm said in a statement.