Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: Pillsbury and K&L Gates expand international corporate and finance practices, while Pinsents and TLT focus on UK

Outside the UK, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and K&L Gates have expanded their corporate and finance practices respectively, while in the City, Pinsent Masons boosts its energy team while TLT grows corporate.

Pillsbury has recruited ex-Al Jazeera counsel Osama Abu-Dehays as a partner in its corporate and securities practice based in Abu-Dhabi. The hire comes as the firm aims to strengthen its capabilities in the technology sector though Abu-Dehays has advised clients in a variety of sectors including broadcasting, IP, litigation and construction.

Abu-Dehays joins from Bird & Bird where he has led the firm’s technology team since June 2012. Before this, he was chief legal counsel at Al Jazeera Media Network from 2009, and was head of legal and business affairs at Arab Media Group for four years prior to that.

Pillsbury chair Jim Rishwain said: ‘With technology as one of our core industry focuses and our intent to grow the Abu Dhabi office, Osama is a tremendous asset to the firm. His experience in the MENA region will help us continue to build lasting client relationships in the Middle East and will augment our existing strengths in several practice areas.’

Over in Australia, US firm K&L Gates strengthened its finance practice with the hire of Tom Lennox as a partner in the firm’s banking and asset finance practice in Sydney. Lennox has over 30 years’ experience and joined from Squire Patton Boggs where he was partner for slightly over a year.

He joined legacy Squire Sanders with a team of lawyers from DibbsBarker, where he had been a corporate finance partner since 2009. Before this, he spent 15 years with legacy big six firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques, where he was partner in charge of the firm’s Sydney and Hong Kong offices.

Lennox has experience of advising clients in sectors including aviation, shipping and real estate on debt funding matters and restructurings, including leveraged, project, structured-commodity, and export credit agency-backed financings.

K&L Gates Australia managing partner, Nick Nichola said: ‘Recognised as one of Australia’s leading finance lawyers, Tom’s appointment is quite significant as K&L Gates continues to grow our Sydney finance practice.’

Closer to home, Pinsent Masons has bolstered its City environment and energy team with the appointment of environment partner Georgie Messent from Bond Dickinson.

Messent specialises in contentious and non-contentious environmental advice, and has advised private and public organisations on environmental and health and safety regulations and risk management. She trained at Simmons & Simmons and qualified in 1998 and worked as an associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Burges Salmon’s environmental unit after that. She became a partner at Burges Salmon in 2005 and joined legacy firm Bond Pearce in 2012.

Paul Rice, partner and head of client relationships for the firm’s energy sector team, said: ‘Further developing our environmental law capability is a crucial aspect of our strategy. We want to provide unparalleled strength and depth across the energy and environment sectors and Georgie will play a major part in that.’

Also in the UK, TLT added partner Stephen Devlin to its corporate team from DLA Piper, to be based in the firm’s Manchester office. Delvin has experience of advising a range of clients on public equity and mergers and acquisitions, particularly internationally. He recently advised on the Boohoo AIM IPO, which, at its placing, had a market capitalisation of approximately £560m.

David Pester, managing partner at TLT, said: ‘Our strategy over the last few years has been to build scale and deepen areas of legal expertise around the specific needs of our clients. Our Manchester office is part of that strategy to attract new talent to the firm. Growing our talent base allows us to win greater market share. That has and will continue to be our focus at TLT.’

TLT launched its Manchester office in July last year, and took a team of 30 from Irwin Mitchell in December 2013. The opening of the office was part of a UK-wide growth strategy to build commercial, corporate and litigation services for clients in the firm’s focus sectors.