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Revolving doors: new teams for DLA Piper and Dentons while IP specialists find new homes

Firms have launched new teams in Paris and Milan on the back of a strong week for European lateral recruitment, while both Ashurst and Eversheds Sutherland have bolstered their IP practices with hires in the UK.

In the City, Ashurst hired former Clyde & Co intellectual property (IP) head David Wilkinson for its London disputes team. Wilkinson has more than 20 years’ experience in disputes and transactions involving patents, copyright, designs and confidential information.

Ashurst global head of IP Lisa Ritson said Wilkinson’s broad expertise in the area would be a valuable addition to its offering. The firm’s disputes head, Simon Bromwich, added that the firm was developing its IP practice with an immediate focus in London: ‘David’s expertise in covering both contentious and non-contentious work in a broad range of areas is also a perfect complement to our existing international IP capabilities.’

Also in IP, Eversheds Sutherland brought back Rupert Bent for his second stint at the firm, based in Birmingham. Bent was most recently the head of IP at Leeds stalwart Walker Morris, and was previously a senior associate at Eversheds Sutherland for nearly a decade. The firm’s head of IP and media, Neil Mohring, said Bent would enhance its IP capability. Bent added: ‘I’m very pleased to be re-joining the team as a partner and very much look forward to the challenges ahead.’

Osborne Clarke, meanwhile, announced former Thrings partner and Bristol office head Colin Stratton would join its real estate team from May this year. Stratton specialises in commercial and residential development work, as well as acting for the public sector. Also in the UK, Bristol-headquartered Burges Salmon added to its corporate tax team with the appointment of Sarah Lane, who has previous experience at KPMG and EY, and was most recently managing director of FTI Consulting.

Further afield, DLA Piper launched a fund offering in Paris with the hire of corporate partner Benjamin Aller from asset management consultancy MJ Hudson. The move follows the hiring of tax partners Sylvie Vansteenkiste, Fanny Combourieu and Raphaël Béra, also in Paris, from Reed Smith: the trio had joined that firm as part of a 17-partner move from collapsed legacy SJ Berwin at the start of 2017.

Aller has more than two decades’ experience advising on private investment funds and related transactions, and has advised on several hundred fund of fund investments throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. DLA global corporate co-chair Bob Bishop said Aller’s hire, when aligned with the tax team, meant the firm could go to market with a funds offering in France.

‘This builds out DLA Piper’s global funds practice and is highly complementary to our existing transactional private equity team in Paris. That team has made great progress over the last few years and our new recruits will help move us to the next level.’

Elsewhere on the continent, Dentons launched a white collar and investigations team in Italy with the hire of Armando Simbari, who will be based in Milan and joins from Dinoia Federico Pelanda Simbari Uslenghi. Bird & Bird appointed experienced M&A lawyer Jan Byström as partner in Stockholm, where he joins from his own boutique transactional firm. And DWF hired Vassilis Akritidis in Brussels from McGuireWoods, to lead on international trade and WTO issues.