Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Shepherd and Wedderburn taps Scottish rival for London partner as Mayer Brown loses two to Gibson Dunn

In a busy week of lateral recruitment in the UK, Shepherd and Wedderburn has made a key hire in London while Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Kingsley Napley, and Keystone Law have expanded their teams.

Scottish stalwart Shepherd has tapped local rival Maclay Murray & Spens for London disputes partner Philip Sewell in the same week as Maclays merger with global giant Dentons went live.

Sewell, who previously headed McClure Naismith’s dispute resolution practice in London, has experience in a diverse range of contentious matters, including insurance, professional negligence, shareholder disputes, landlord and tenant commercial fraud, health and safety, food safety and personal injury.

‘Philip’s expertise will be an asset for many of our commercial clients, including those taking advantage of our funded litigation offering, which mitigates the financial risk of engaging in litigation,’ said chief executive Stephen Gibb.

Gibson Dunn has expanded its London office with the appointments of Jeremy Kenley and Sandy Bhogal, who both join from Mayer Brown.

Kenley had previously been Mayer Brown’s global co-head of corporate and securities while Bhogal was London tax head at the US firm.

Gibson Dunn managing partner Ken Doran said that building out the firm’s London transactional capability was ‘a strategic priority’ and Jeffrey Trinklein, co-partner in charge of the London office, said the two partners ‘have the right combination of technical skill, experience and fit that will make them assets to our team in London, Europe and globally.’

Also in London, Kingsley Napley has hired Anita Gill from Charles Russell Speechlys to boost its private client team. Gill specialises in the residential property market, as well as working with high-net-worth individuals and offshore companies. She will add to Kingsley Napley’s current private client team, comprising partners Simon Hardy and Jim Sawer.

Meanwhile alternative business structure Keystone Law has been busy, embarking on a spree of lateral hires over the last four months. The firm’s banking and finance practice has been strengthened by the arrivals of TLT financial services regulatory head Emily Benson and finance partner Howard Waterman from Sidley Austin.

Veteran corporate partner Douglas Rofé has also joined Keystone after 17 years at Reed Smith, alongside former K&L Gates disputes partner Jane Harte-Lovelace. Robert McLellan, a specialist in property litigation, joins from Hewitsons.

The swathe of partner arrivals underlines a strong year for the firm, which also saw revenues grow more than 20% to £25.6m this year.

James Knight, Keystone’s founder and managing director, told Legal Business that the influx of partners from traditional firms represented ‘a significant change in the legal profession’.

He added: ‘They want more flexibility to work with clients. There’s a lot of different driving factors, sometimes it’s because they want more money, sometimes it’s for a better work-life balance.’

In Europe, Jones Day has made a major play in its Paris office, bringing in private equity partner David Swinburne from Linklaters along with two associates. Swinburne has 20 years’ experience in the private equity market, with a strong history in a range of transactional work.

Renaud Bonnet, co-head of Jones Day’s global private equity practice, said: ‘I anticipate very effective synergies, in particular, between David, our 16-lawyer PE team in London, and our M&A, banking & finance, and business restructuring & reorganisation practices in Paris and around the world.’

In Russia, Latham & Watkins has strengthened its corporate team after hiring Alexander Gomonov to its Moscow office. Gomonov, who joins from Baker McKenzie, advises international oil & gas and mining clients on cross-border transactions.

Gomonov said: ‘Latham & Watkins has had a top-tier energy practice for decades, and its leadership in this sector is a testament to the firm’s deep bench of talent and experience. Over years, Latham has developed an outstanding reputation in Russia for high-end, complex work.’