Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: White & Case lands corporate heavyweight from Clifford Chance as Hogan Lovells makes German team hire

Headlining the latest round of lateral partner appointments, White & Case has made an eye-catching move for Clifford Chance’s former co-head of mining and metals, David Lewis.

Lewis specialises in M&A, joint ventures and equity investments with a primary focus on the mining, metals and energy sectors.

‘David is a board-level trusted adviser who is retained on the most significant corporate and M&A mandates for his clients’, said White & Case partner and EMEA corporate head Philip Broke. ‘The addition of David to our M&A team in London will provide further strength and depth to our multi-jurisdictional EMEA offering and complement our experience and capabilities in the region.’

In a productive week for White & Case, the firm also added an M&A and private equity partner in Singapore. Sayak Maity joins from India-headquartered firm AZB & Partners, bringing a practice that chiefly focuses on advising global private equity funds on investments in India and the wider Asia-Pacific region.

In Germany, Hogan Lovells has also made a major corporate push, hiring M&A partners Cristoph Naumann and Torsten Rosenboom from Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) as part of a team transfer.

Rosenboom was formerly office managing partner of WFW in Frankfurt, where he played a key role in developing the firm’s practice in the region. Alongside Naumann, the pair established WFW’s M&A practice in Frankfurt, collectively advising on M&A, joint ventures, restructurings, private equity and venture capital.

They are joined in the move by four associates and business lawyers. James Doyle, global head of corporate and finance at Hogan Lovells, commented: ‘Our German corporate and finance practice is one of the key engines of the firm. Their appointment adds to the depth and experience of our Germany M&A team which is already delivering high-end domestic and cross-border transactions for a broad range of clients.’

Also growing in Germany is Addleshaw Goddard, which hired Janik Goßler to strengthen its commercial and distribution law team. Joining from Noerr, Goßler will focus on distribution and distribution antitrust law, international trade and contract law as well as material defects and product liability law.

In London, Akin Gump has appointed former Latham & Watkins stalwart Stephen Brown as a partner. Brown spent 18 years at Latham, but joins Akin Gump from Icon Law. He brings substantial experience advising private equity sponsors and public companies on executive employment issues, and in relation to the structuring and taxation of share schemes and management incentive arrangements.

‘Stephen has an impressive practice that fits squarely with the needs of our clients,’ commented Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith. ‘He will provide further support to our private equity and corporate clients, which is a key component of our strategic growth.’

Staying in the City, TLT has made a standout hire from the Government Legal Department, with Zaqia Rashid arriving as a partner to set up and lead a new public inquiries team. Bringing with her over 25 years’ experience from the Government, where she most recently headed the public inquiries, reviews and litigation team, Rashid notably acted for the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in relation to the Grenfell Inquiry.

Bill Hull, head of commercial services at TLT, commented: ‘We know there is growing demand from the government for a specialist team that can lead and manage public inquiries and from participants to inquiries to provide knowledgeable and effective representation. As a firm, we are deeply rooted in support for government and across the public sector. We have acted on a number of high-profile inquiries in recent years and saw a clear opportunity to establish and grow a full-service team. Zaqia is one of the most experienced lawyers in her field and we are delighted that she is joining us.’

In Australia, HFW has brought in a senior name in the construction sector, with partner Michael Debney transferring from Herbert Smith Freehills. Debney advises contractors, financiers and owners on all aspects of project development and implementation.

Gavin Vallely, managing partner of HFW Australia, said: ‘The expansion of our construction practice is a key element of HFW’s growth strategy in Australia. Michael joins a team of more than 30 lawyers in Australia specialising in construction and projects, and we will actively pursue opportunities to further strengthen our offering to clients in this sector, as part of our ambitious plans for continued growth across our sectors and services in Australia.’

HFW has also boosted its Latin America insurance and reinsurance practice with the hire of one of the region’s most experienced executives, Margo Black. Black has worked in the industry for more than four decades and has led the Brazilian operations of some of the world’s top reinsurers, including as president of Swiss Re Brazil, Brazil CEO of Willis Group, main board director at Allianz Seguros, Latin America COO at JLT Group, and managing director of SCOR Brazil. She joins HFW as a consultant.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire firm Gordons has named a new head of restructuring after hiring partner Jonathan Jackson from Addleshaw Goddard. Jackson has a strong background in representing corporates, financial institutions, private equity firms and other stakeholders on all aspects of corporate restructuring and insolvency.

Describing his motivations for the move, Jackson said: ‘Gordons has a strong reputation in the marketplace as a progressive and agile law firm. Importantly for me, Gordons is also renowned for its long-term relationships and excellent client service as much as it is for the commercially-focused results it delivers.’

Addleshaw Goddard has also lost corporate partner Andrew Walker to Scottish independent Morton Fraser. He arrives at the same time as real estate partner Chris McLeish, who joins from DWF. Walker noted: ‘Morton Fraser’s corporate team is committed to helping Scottish businesses of all sizes grow, which is perfectly aligned with my expertise. Like Chris I’m looking forward to working with Morton Fraser’s clients, and with the wider corporate team, to help businesses navigate a challenging time.’

Finally, cementing the strong corporate theme of this week’s hires, Bird & Bird has appointed start-up and venture capital partner Martin Folke in Stockholm. Joining from Swedish firm MAQS, Folke will continue to specialise in equity investments and other venture-related matters in the Swedish market, including commercial and corporate governance matters. He primarily advises start-ups and other growth companies on national and cross-border fundraisings and transactions.

Struan Penwarden, international head of the venture capital practice at Bird & Bird, said: ‘Martin brings a depth of expertise working on both sides of the table for VC investments. I look forward to seeing our client offering for Sweden’s leading tech businesses continue to thrive and grow under his guidance.’