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Revolving doors: Withers makes global splash with four partner hires as Curtis opens in Saudi Arabia

In a week of significant international expansion, Withers has added four lateral partners to its global benches while Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle has founded a new Saudi Arabia base.

Two of the new Withers partners are US-based: Samantha Klein joins as a partner from Wasser, Cooperman & Mandles to launch a new family law practice in Los Angeles. She is recognised as one of the top family lawyers in LA, typically advising high-net-worth and high-profile clients in the sports and entertainment industries.

In New York, Withers has appointed Doron Goldstein as a partner, who joins from Katten Muchin Rosenman, where he co-headed the privacy, data and cybersecurity team. He is particularly experienced in responding to ransomware attacks, dealing with security breaches and developing privacy and cybersecurity programs.

Withers has also bolstered its Singaporean banking and finance capabilities through the hire of Guan Feng Chan from Morgan Lewis. Chan, who previously co-headed White & Case’s banking and restructuring practice in Asia, has more than 25 years’ experience advising major financial institutions and borrowers on complex cross-border financings.

Finally, in Hong Kong, the firm has hired litigation and arbitration partner Joseph Chu from Simmons & Simmons – a veteran disputes expert with a background in advising China-based and multinational companies on a wide range of disputes.

Meanwhile, Curtis has added a 19th office to its global portfolio in Saudi Arabia, achieved through an association with newly-formed local outfit Trafua Legal Consultants. The new office will offer Saudi and international legal advice to domestic clients as well as those doing business in the region.

Curtis’ worldwide chair George Kahale said: ‘We have been active in matters relating to Saudi Arabia for some time, but we believe this step will enable us to significantly expand our activities in this very important market. Our initial focus will be on the traditional Curtis areas of strength, namely, international corporate and finance transactions, international tax, international investments and investment management, international trade, public and private international law, and of course international litigation and arbitration.’

Elsewhere, Fieldfisher has made an eye-catching in-house hire in London, appointing former Bank of New York Mellon lawyer Miguel Vaz as a partner. Formerly EMEA managing counsel for supervisory and regulatory investigations, Vaz will bring his financial services industry knowhow into Fieldfisher’s regulatory team.

John Cassels, co-head of Fieldfisher’s regulatory group, commented: ‘Fieldfisher is experiencing rapid growth in investigations work and Miguel’s capabilities in competition, financial crime and anti-money laundering adds greatly to our existing expertise in these areas.’

Also looking to the in-house market for its latest partner addition was Addleshaw Goddard, which has announced the appointment of former DP World group deputy general counsel Ian Le Pelley. Coming from one of the largest port operators in the world, Le Pelley has considerable expertise in the sector.

Joining Addleshaw’s Edinburgh office, Le Pelley will be leveraging his strong industrial links to boost the firm’s cross-border M&A credentials. Head of Addleshaw’s transport sector, Paul Hirst, said: ‘His unparalleled experience in the ports world, and his excellent profile in the sector, are not only a valuable addition to the team, but a clear statement of intent in how committed we are to growing our international capability.’

Lewis Silkin has pulled off a coup in hiring former Squire Patton Boggs employment partner Supinder Singh Sian in London. Sian is a seasoned immigration adviser, who has experience assisting clients on global mobility programmes, coordinating international visa applications and executive transfers and inbound immigration issues such as entry clearance.

He has a particular expertise in applications under the EU settlement scheme. Sian said: ‘It is an exciting time to be joining Lewis Silkin, with the firm taking ambitious steps forward in terms of domestic and international growth, with the immigration practice already being well-known in the market as a real centre of excellence.’

Finally, global offshore firm Conyers has landed a heavyweight disputes partner in Hong Kong, bringing in veteran Mark Yeadon from Eversheds Sutherland to head its disputes and restructuring practice. Yeadon advises domestic and international clients on arbitration and mediation on a wide range of commercial disputes. In particular, he has advised on matters arising out of complex financial transactions including derivatives, breaches of commercial contract, breaches of directors’ and employees’ duties, fraud, negligence, and shareholder disputes.

Christopher Bickley, head of the Hong Kong office, commented: ‘Mark comes with an impressive track record and decades of experience. His arrival represents our dedication to servicing regional clients and to further strengthen our position in the market. We are excited to continue to grow our capability in Asia and to deliver high-quality international commercial litigation and restructuring services to our clients.’