Paul Hastings was the only notable mover in the City lateral market over the past week, with the US firm securing a swift double hire to bolster its finance practice.
The firm announced today (24 August) that infrastructure partner Derwin Jenkinson would be joining the practice from Ashurst. Jenkinson leaves after a seven-year spell at Ashurst, where he advised on loan and capital markets across infrastructure M&A and project finance matters. Prior to Ashurst, Jenkinson cut his teeth as a senior associate in Clifford Chance’s capital markets practice.
The hire of Jenkinson followed that of Peter Hayes, who joined the firm from the City office of Shearman & Sterling last week. Hayes spent more than 20 years at Shearman, building a practice which focuses on loans, acquisitions, leveraged finance matters, and restructuring work. Hayes will now be reunited with fellow former Shearman partner Mei Lian, who joined Paul Hastings in May also after a two-decade stint at Shearman.
‘The start of this year has been sound in terms of cash collections and that strong balance sheet means we can keep hiring,’ Paul Hastings London chair Arun Birla (pictured) told Legal Business. ‘We don’t want to rest on our laurels; we could end up like a lot of firms I see just frozen in fear. We have strengthened in finance and restructuring, no doubt we will continue strengthening where we have been: litigation, finance and restructuring, and of course corporate and private equity.’
However, Paul Hastings has also seen its share of exits since the start of the year. In June, corporate partners Ed Harris and Leanne Moezi ended their short stint at Paul Hastings to return to Hogan Lovells, having only left the firm for Paul Hastings in July of the previous year.
Elsewhere, Ashurst enhanced its Australian presence, hiring infrastructure and energy partner Chris Skordas from the Dubai office of Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF). Skordas had been a partner at HSF since May 2016, having advised clients in sectors such as power and water, renewables, real estate, oil and gas, and transport and social infrastructure.
Commenting on the hire, Angus Foley, practice group head at Ashurst, said: ‘Chris has extensive experience in limited recourse financing and he will play a key role in developing Ashurst’s project finance team in Melbourne. His breadth of project finance experience, sector knowledge, reputation and network in Australia and the Middle East will be a valuable addition to our Infrastructure and Energy practice.’