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Revolving doors: Squires lures London partner from Covington in energy disputes push

Squire Patton Boggs has made its first lateral hire in London since its merger in May, hiring arbitration partner Ben Holland from Covington & Burling.

Holland becomes Squire Patton Boggs’ most senior arbitration recruit in London, having made partner at CMS Cameron McKenna in 2007 before moving to Covington 15 months ago.

He will also be Squire Patton Boggs’ eighth arbitration lawyer in London and its second partner. His arrival follows that of counsel James Barratt, who arrived from O’Melveny & Myers in September, and senior associate Alexis Martinez, who joined from Allen & Overy at the end of last year.

This latest strategic move fills a void in London, linking Holland up with fellow energy pricing specialists Stephen Anway in New York and the firm’s head of international dispute resolution, George von Mehren.

Holland specialises in energy pricing disputes, which has been fertile ground for arbitration lawyers in Europe over the last five years due to fluctuating prices, with BP, Italy’s Eni and Russia’s Gazprom having all been involved in arbitration over long-term contracts no longer in line with current energy values.

Holland also had a short-lived union with energy specialist Gaëtan Verhoosel at Covington before the Dutchman’s exit to launch arbitration boutique Three Crowns with Freshfields partners Jan Paulsson and Constantine Partasides in April.

‘We have a market-leading team for gas pricing disputes and Ben’s background and experience are highly synergistic with the work that we already do in this area,’ said von Mehren. ‘Ben’s arrival will add to the strength of this team, enhance our offering to clients, and help us achieve our goal to be a dominant firm in the international energy dispute resolution market.’

Peter Crossley, European and Middle East managing partner of Squire Patton Boggs, added: ‘London continues to be a very significant centre for handling international disputes and we are seeing increasing demand for IDR experts in London, particularly resulting from the expansion of our Middle East practice through our combination with Patton Boggs earlier this year.’

For more on the City disputes market, see Disputes Yearbook 2014