Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: Swings and roundabouts for DLA as Kirkland boosts City funds practice

As the market readies itself for the inevitable back-to-school hiring spree, August has nevertheless seen its fair share of lateral activity.

Among those firms which have announced investments this week, Kirkland & Ellis bolstered its funds practice with the addition of two Legal 500 ranked next generation partners in London. Catherine Gokah joined from Ashurst and is credited with bringing experience advising sponsors on fundraising activities across a range of alternative asset classes including infrastructure, real estate and credit. Meanwhile, Louisa Cobbe, who specialises in real estate investments, joined from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.

Elsewhere in the City, leveraged finance partner Carol Van der Vorst joined Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer from Ropes & Gray. Experienced in cross-border debt financing transactions, Van der Vorst previously worked as managing director in the debt underwriting group at Goldman Sachs.

Allen & Overy (A&O) strengthened its India group with the addition of corporate M&A partner Harsh Pais in London. He will join from Indian firm Trilegal where he co-led the national corporate practice. He has acted for a range of multinational corporations and private equity funds investing into India and has expertise in the energy, technology and financial services sectors.

David Broadley, co-head of A&O’s global corporate practice, noted that India, having attracted some $159bn of inbound investment over the last three years, is one of the jurisdictions of strategic growth for the firm’s corporate team, alongside the US: ‘We’ve had a strong India group for a number of years but ultimately the piece of that jigsaw that we haven’t had at a partner level has been on the corporate side. We’ve done a lot of corporate work, but we haven’t had someone as dedicated to and as knowledgeable in that market as Harsh is, so his arrival is really filling that gap.’

Also in the City, Mayer Brown strengthened its banking and finance practice with the addition of Ronan Mellon from DLA Piper. Mellon advises on structured finance, securitization and debt capital markets covering European and US collateralized loan obligations, covered bonds, credit-linked notes, repackaging derivatives and emerging market bonds.

Meanwhile, DLA bolstered its competition and antitrust practice with the hire of Joost Haans in Brussels. He joined from Baker McKenzie and brings experience in merger control, investigations, distribution agreements, horizontal cooperation agreements and abuse of dominance issues. This follows the arrivals into the European competition practice of Matt Evans in London, who joined from Jones Day in June 2021 Hamburg-based Justus Herrlinger in October 2021, Marc Lager in Austria in December and Gábor Fejes and Zoltán Marosi in Hungary in February 2022.