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Revolving doors: Reed Smith ups energy offering as Mayer Brown JSM and Ince & Co make Hong Kong hires

Reed Smith, which last week cut 45 jobs across its US, Europe and Middle Eastern offices, has bolstered its energy offering in the United Arab Emirates and China by appointing partners from Pinsent Masons and Norton Rose Fulbright.

Project finance partner Simon Harvey joins from Pinsents’ Dubai office. Harvey advises on a range of project and infrastructure matters relating to power, gas minerals and resources. Reed Smith Middle East managing partner Vince Gordon said: ‘Simon’s hire continues to build upon our finance and projects practice and create further opportunities to support clients requiring support across our global platform.’

Meanwhile in Beijing the firm has hired Norton Rose Fulbright corporate partner Jie Zhang. Zhang, who focuses on energy and natural resources, has built his practice on inbound foreign investment work and Chinese outbound investments. Reed Smith has continued to expand its energy and natural resources practice by adding 26 partners across the globe in the past three years. The practice now has 120 lawyers.

Still in Asia, Ince & Co has hired CEC North Star Energy executive director of legal affairs Balbir Bindra as partner in its Hong Kong office. Banking and finance lawyer Bindra has broad experience in the energy, asset-based finance and investment sectors. According to the firm, the appointment is part of Ince’s agreed strategy to enhance its transactional capability in its core sectors of shipping, aviation, energy, insurance and international trade.

Also in Hong Kong, Mayer Brown JSM has added corporate partner Nicholas Chan to its ranks. Chan joins from Sidley Austin and has experience acting issuers and advisers on listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Corporate and securities partner Jacqueline Chiu said: ‘Nicholas’ knowledge of Hong Kong’s IPO market and other corporate finance products is expected to enhance our recent association with Jingtian & Gongcheng, a leading Chinese firm in connection with capital markets practice transactions for issuers from mainland China.’

In Europe, Paul Hastings has hired leveraged finance partner Olivier Vermeulen to head the Paris outpost’s finance department. Vermeulen joins with a team of three other lawyers from King & Wood Mallesons and he has broad experience in leveraged finance, funds financing, structured finance and general lending and securitisation. Paul Hastings Paris chair Olivier Deren said the firm was growing throughout Europe, particularly in leveraged finance and Vermeulen would be an asset. ‘He has developed innovative solutions to assist clients in a rapidly changing market, across a wide range of finance areas, and complements our existing reputation in private equity.’

In London Norton Rose has made its third lateral tax hire in Europe since January 2015 with the appointment of Matthew Findley from Pinsents. Findley advises transactional and annuity clients in relation to the implementation and operation of share plans and employee incentive arrangements both in the UK and internationally. The firm’s head of tax for Europe Dominic Stuttaford said: ‘Matthew’s experience is highly aligned with our strategic vision and will enhance our offering to clients.’

TLT has also made a City hire, going in-house to appoint Daniel Lloyd who was head of consumer law at telco BT. Lloyd has experience in the procurement of technology and other services and is an expert in the law on digital content. He arrives as the firm continues to invest in its TMT practice. TLT managing partner David Pester said: ‘Daniel’s arrival is the latest of a series of notable partner hires into our 100-strong London practice, including Jake McQuitty from Barclays Bank. London plays an important role in the development of our wider UK practice, being a centre of excellence for a number of specialist services as part of our sector strategy.’