Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: US firms kick-on with big hires as Clydes invests Stateside

As firms move to finalise their lateral hires before the holiday season starts, a string of US hires were wrapped up last week as Cooley brought in Reed Smith’s global head of corporate and securities in a four-partner hire to grow on both sides of the States, while Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton launched an antitrust practice in the City. Meanwhile, UK firm Clyde & Co went in the other direction to grow its US offering.

Cooley launched one of the most ambitious hires in the legal sector last week, as it welcomed a four-partner team from Reed Smith led by that firm’s global head of corporate and securities and chair of its US capital markets group, Yvan-Claude Pierre.

New York-based Pierre, who alone has been involved in more than 250 capital markets offerings and 150 M&A transactions, and corporate and capital market partners Daniel Goldberg and William Haddad made the switch in Manhattan while Reed Smith’s M&A partner Garth Osterman also joined Cooley, arriving at the firm’s San Francisco office. Cooley also made a capital markets hire from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom with partner Joshua Kaufman joining the firm’s ranks.

The hires follow a rapid expansion of the firm’s corporate and finance teams, with the four-partner arrival bringing to 25 the number of corporate partners who have joined Cooley since 2013. Pierre said: ‘Companies around the world are taking note of Cooley’s incredible momentum as it continues to deliver record-breaking results in tech, life sciences and all things innovation.’

While Cooley’s aggressive opening in London has helped to push its brand into Europe and generate momentum, US rival Sheppard Mullin has employed a low key strategy in the City. Nonetheless, its hire of competition partner Oliver Heinisch last week proved to be something of a coup, with the London lawyer leaving Simmons & Simmons to launch the firm’s antitrust practice in the City.

Well known for his work with Samsung, Heinisch said he was ‘impressed with Sheppard Mullin’s successful national and international growth and expansion in recent years’. Heinisch advises on EU, UK and German competition law with a focus on international cartel and abuse of dominance.

Meanwhile, Clydes expansion in the other direction, as it seeks to bulk out its US practice, continued with the addition of professional liability partner Scott Bertschi in Atlanta. With over two decades of experience, Bertschi arrives from Arnall Golden Gregory with a large number of insurance clients, which he defends in litigation over their coverage to pay-out insurance.

With the firm able to offer Bertschi access to its leading insurance practice servicing the Lloyd’s of London insurance market, the professional liability partner said ‘the firm’s international network uniquely positions me to leverage that expertise in service to my clients’.

He added: ‘I am excited to be joining Clyde & Co at a time of so much change in the legal, regulatory and technology landscapes. Clyde & Co has helped develop many new types of specialty policies now being used across the industry.’

His arrival follows that of insurance partners Vikram Sidhu, Bob Mangino and Owen Carragher in New York over the past 18 months.