Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Winston & Strawn builds City restructuring team as Linklaters makes disputes play

The festive season has not deterred firms from making significant lateral moves, with disputes, restructuring, competition and tax among the areas targeted for strategic growth among global players.

In London, Winston & Strawn made a rare lateral move, recruiting restructuring partner Paul Fleming. Previously head of corporate restructuring at Addleshaw Goddard (AG), Fleming advises creditors, stakeholders, insolvency practitioners and directors.

Fleming told Legal Business: ‘Winston’s global restructuring practice is being built. Adding on the UK part was very necessary. This is part of a growth strategy over the next few years, which will mean that we have more reach across North and South America, Asia and across Europe as well. The focus is very much on global mandates.’

‘At the moment, Winston has a number of people in London who do a bit of restructuring, but what they didn’t have was a very honed, specialised practice. That’s why they wanted me in, to pull together the strands of what we have, but also to recruit into the space and make sure that we have the really compelling proposition for international clients.’

On his practice, Fleming added: ‘I cover both contentious and non-contentious, which is usual for US lawyers, but not so usual for UK lawyers. I do quite a broad mix. Whilst I was at AG I was dealing with the $1.5bn bond restructuring in Hong Kong and China of Peking University. At the same time, I was also doing one of the big Irish bankruptcies from the 2008 downturn, getting the US bankruptcy recognised in the UK.’

Elsewhere in the City, Goodwin brought Eram Khan into its competition practice as a partner. Khan joined from Linklaters, where she was a counsel, and has experience in advising leniency applicants in EC cartel investigations, compliance work and market studies.

Khan’s arrival is the latest step in the development of Goodwin’s European antitrust group. The practice was established last year with the arrival of Sarah Jordan, and has since added counsel Charlotte Brunsdon.

Also in the capital, Howard Kennedy added three new partners. Jonathan Huth joined the business crime group from Kobre & Kim; ex-Vardags director Katherine Res Pritchard was added to the family practice; and the immigration team was bolstered by the arrival of John Kiely, who moved from Fragomen.

Meanwhile, Dentons has been busy over the Christmas period, adding two partners and an of counsel to its growing Dublin office. Partner Ciara FitzGerald and of counsel Lesley Caplin joined the disputes practice from McCann FitzGerald, while former Mason Hayes & Curran partner Niamh Keogh was added to the tax practice.

The moves conclude an impressive year for the Dublin office, which in total welcomed nine new partners throughout 2022 including Colm Ó hUiginn, David McGuinness and Michael McDonald.

Linklaters has also been active, hiring two new partners into its global disputes group. Class actions specialist Alex Ferreres has been added to the Madrid office. A leading individual in The Legal 500, Ferreres has defended clients in many of Spain’s largest product liability cases during his 25-year stint at Uría Menéndez.

Linklaters Spain head of disputes Borja Fernández de Trocóniz said: ‘Alex Ferreres’ arrival is a key reinforcement for our practice at a time of great activity. His experience and international profile perfectly fit with our practice and with his incorporation we add a recognised specialist in class actions. We are convinced that with Alex Ferreres we will consolidate our good position in the market and will continue to provide our clients with first in class advice.’

The other new addition came in China, where Zhao Sheng Law Firm, Linklaters’ joint operation partner, recruited Ellen Zhang into the Beijing practice. Dual-qualified in PRC and New York, Zhang arrived from Fangda Partners where she advised on commercial and financial disputes and investigations.

DLA was also active in Asia, adding M&A partner Xin Fang as a partner in Hong Kong. Well-versed in M&A, joint ventures and private equity transactions in Greater China and Asia Pacific, Fang joined from Mayer Brown and speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and English.

Finally, Weil added a tax partner to its Paris office. Benjamin Pique has been recruited from EY to work alongside existing partner Edouard de Lamy, and specialises in structuring private equity and M&A transactions.