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Revolving doors: Nabarro and DLA make tech hires as Ashurst and Bird & Bird bring in fresh blood

In this week’s appointments round-up, Nabarro and DLA Piper have made important tech hires in the City, while Bird & Bird has brought on a media GC, and Ashurst has made a private equity appointment in Germany.

Nabarro has hired Penningtons Manches head of IT & outsourcing Sam De Silva, who will take on the same role at his new firm. De Silva, who advises on data protection, cyber security and payment card issues is recommended by the Legal 500, and returns to Nabarro, having worked there as an associate. Nabarro, which launched a new three year strategy in 2015, is increasingly focused on technology as one of its four sectors, and acts for Google, IBM and Intel among its list of clients.

Nabarro head of IP & IT Guy Heath said: ‘For some the quality and variety of our technology clients is Nabarro’s best kept secret. Sam’s appointment and the strategic importance of the technology sector at the firm signal our investment and our intent.’

Another firm to make a City tech hire in the past week is DLA, which has appointed Ross McKean from Olswang. McKean was head of Olswang’s data protection practice, and joins DLA as a partner. McKean was trained and promoted to partner at Baker & McKenzie, before moving to build the data protection practice at Olswang in 2012.

DLA global co-head of technology Kit Burden said cyber risk is one of the most serious threats that the firm’s clients face. He added: ‘Ross’s hire will add further strength to our global data protection practice and his experience working with FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies means he is well placed to advise our clients as they navigate an increasingly complex landscape.’

Meanwhile, Bird & Bird has made a key media hire, with the appointment of in-house media lawyer Richard McMorris. McMorris joins the tech-focused firm from digital sports provider Perform Group, where he was general counsel for four years and led a team of 11.

Bird & Bird head of international media, entertainment and sports Phil Sherrell said McMorris’ first hand experience as a media general counsel will bring a new dimension to the firm’s knowledge of the sector. He added: ‘I’m looking forward to working with him on the continued development of our offering and reputation both in London and internationally.’

In Germany, Ashurst has made a significant private equity play with the hire of Holger Ebersberger from Linklaters. Ebersberger joins the firm’s Munich office on 1 July from the Magic Circle firm.

Ashurst Germany managing partner Tobias Krug said the appointment is a ‘key step’ toward extending the firm’s Munich office. The hire follows the appointment of restructuring partner Alexander Ballmann to the same office in January.