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Simmons builds out real estate practice with Goldman Sachs hire

Nearly a year after tapping Barclays for its corporate offering, Simmons & Simmons has hired from the in-house community once again with Goldman Sachs executive director and senior counsel, Deian Rhys.

Starting his role as a partner today (6 June) Rhys is a real estate specialist specialising in cross border transactions. He spent more than eight years at Goldman Sachs, having spent six years as an associate at Linklaters prior to his move in-house.

Rhys’s move follows the appointment of Barclays M&A chief Khasruz Zaman last summer, who exited the bank after a decade in its Canary Wharf HQ for Simmons’ corporate and commercial practice.

A firm spokesperson said Rhys was unavailable for comment and instead provided this statement from real estate head John Kelsey: ‘Deian comes to us with a valuable insight to handling real estate transactions from a client perspective contributing further to our high quality offering to our real estate clients. His contribution will also add further industry strength to both our financial institutions and our asset management & investment funds sector groups.’

Jonathan Hammond, head of the firm’s international financial institutions sector group, added that the firm will continue to invest in the practice with internal promotions and further lateral hires.

Turnover growth has been stagnant at Simmons, which in December posted a modest 1% rise in revenue for the first half of the current financial year.

The UK top 20 firm posted a £2m increase in turnover to £142m for the first half of 2015/16, which represents a 9% increase on half-year revenue over two years, with income for the first half of 2015/16 up £12m on the £130m logged for the first six months of 2013/14

Last year the firm voted through a three-year business plan with a focus on strengthening referral relationships in the US. The strategy, which started running from 1 May 2015 through to 30 April 2018, aims to place greater structure around which US firms partners refer work to, in the hope of forging stronger relationships.