Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: OC opens in Warsaw with local hires as US players ramp up in the City

Osborne Clarke has expanded its European footprint through a new office in Poland, securing a team of 30 lawyers from domestic firms to staff the Warsaw hub.

The new team, which comprises six partners, 24 lawyers and four business services staff, features a strong contingent from Polish professional services firm MDDP, with former MDDP Law managing partner and M&A specialist Tomasz Olkiewicz being selected as co-managing partner for OC’s new Polish operations. He will be supported in the top job by Olgierd Świerzewski, previously chief executive and head of the technology transaction group at Kochański & Partners.

Initially, the new office will target clients across OC’s key sectors including technology, media and communications, energy and utilities, real estate and infrastructure, with scope to expand as the team grows. Olkiewicz told Legal Business there are plans to grow the office to 60 lawyers in the next three years, but that there was ‘no magic in the numbers.’

Omar Al-Nuaimi, OC’s international chief executive, added: ‘We have been building out in Europe since 2012 and we have had an eye on Poland specifically for a number of years. In recent years, Poland has become more attractive thanks to its decarbonisation initiatives, which fit squarely with our strategy, and luckily we have found the right team to open in the region.’

In London, lateral recruitment from US firms continues apace. This week, Cadwalader hired finance partner Matthew Smith and restructuring partner Bevis Metcalfe from Baker McKenzie, who will join Cadwalader’s London office in April.

Smith is experienced in assisting lenders and private equity sponsors with European leveraged finance transactions and brings specialist expertise in private credit and direct lending structure, while Metcalfe has a breadth of experience acting for private investment funds in restructuring and special situations financing.

Sticking with the private equity theme, Sidley has secured Robert Darwin, who specialises in life sciences and healthcare sector transactions, from Dechert. His arrival follows that of private equity trio Dan Graham, Paul Dunbar and Emilie Stewart from Vinson & Elkins last August.

Meanwhile, Cohen & Gresser further strengthened its UK white-collar team with another QC hire. Andrew Mitchell QC, who will join the practice as of counsel, brings over 30 years of experience in civil and criminal matters relating to financial wrongdoing. He is renowned for Proceeds of Crime Act matters having appeared in ten of the top UK Supreme Court cases involving the proceeds of crime.

Mitchell’s arrival closely follows that of former SFO chief Sir David Green QC, who joined from Slaughter and May last month.

Also bolstering its white-collar capabilities is Squire Patton Boggs. The firm secured the dual heavyweight hire of former SFO and FCA prosecutor Hannah Laming from Peters & Peters and criminal barrister Wayne Barne from Fulcrum Chambers.

Laming, who boasts a hat-trick of The Legal 500 leading individual accolades for regulatory investigations and corporate crime, white-collar crime and contentious financial services work, will lead the firm’s European government investigations and white-collar practice.


Akin Gump restructuring expert Christian Halász has joined German firm Gleiss Lutz’s finance practice in its new London office, which opened on 1 January 2022. Halász joins tax partner Wolfgang Bosch in London who relocated to the City from Frankfurt.

Amid mounting competition for antitrust litigators, Ropes & Gray has persuaded Kirkland’s Annie Herdman to join its ranks. Herdman, who is ranked as a next generation partner for EU and competition law by The Legal 500, covers all aspects of EU and UK competition law.


Ruchit Patel, head of European antitrust at Ropes & Gray, commented: ‘Annie’s arrival represents the continuation of the growth that we’ve seen over the last six years.  She is a first-rate antitrust lawyer and – with antitrust issues higher on the agenda for our clients than ever before – our clients will benefit greatly from this addition to our excellent team.’

Meanwhile, Addleshaw Goddard followed up on its hire of BP’s global competition head Sarah Randall in May 2021 with the addition of Hogan Lovells’ competition litigation counsel Paul Chaplin. This addition follows the announcement on Tuesday (1 March) that Addleshaw’s merger with Irish firm Eugene F Collins has gone live. Among the 25 partners joining in Dublin are project finance expert Libby Garvey, corporate and commercial partner Deborah Kelly, litigator Maura Connolly and real estate specialist Kathi O’Riain who all join the Addleshaw’s executive team.

Mayer Brown has added commercial and competition litigation expert Airlie Goodman to its ranks. Goodman has particular experience in the financial and professional services and mining sectors and joins from Linklaters, where she was a managing associate.

Property partner Caroline Roberjot joins Harbottle & Lewis from Sussex-headquartered Adams & Remers. Also in the real estate space, Mishcon de Reya secured its sixth partner hire of 2022 with the addition Lee Foxcroft from Slaughter and May, where he was a senior associate.

Finally, across the Atlantic, Allen & Overy and Hogan Lovells continue their frenetic hiring spree. Allen & Overy follows its acquisitive start to the year with the addition of Latham & Watkins’ IP litigator Lisa Nguyen in Silicon Valley, while Hogan Lovells adds M&A and private equity partner Adrienne Ellman from Foley Hoag in New York.