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‘Takes us to a new level’: Hogan Lovells picks up Freshfields investment funds veteran Baird in latest partner exit

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has seen the departure of a member of its corporate team with the exit of investment funds partner Jonathan Baird to Hogan Lovells.

He is the latest hire into Hogan Lovells’ investment funds practice, with the transatlantic firm bringing in New York-based Adam Tope from Greenberg Traurig in March.

Baird joined Freshfields as an associate in 1994 before moving on to Chicago-based Altheimer & Gray in 1999 where he was made partner. He returned to Freshfields in 2003, the same year Altheimer collapsed. Baird has advised clients including 3i, BH Global, Riverstone Energy and Grainger.

Hogan Lovells’ investment funds co-head Nick Holman said the group has already had ‘a tremendously strong year’. He added that bringing in ‘someone of Jonathan’s calibre and reputation to our team takes us to a new level’.

Baird said he had worked opposite Hogan Lovells on ‘some significant transactions in the past’ and noted his new firm’s ‘excellence in the funds space’.

In the last 12 months, Freshfields has seen the exit of finance partners Jonathan Birks and Sean Lacey to Kirkland & Ellis, with corporate partner Ben Spiers departing the firm for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. In April, finance partner Dougall Molson joined Fieldfisher and, earlier this week, it emerged banking partner Geoff O’Dea had made the move to Baker McKenzie.

Last week, Freshfields announced the firm’s joint managing partner Chris Pugh is to step down less than half way into his term. He is the second member of its c-suite to step down since the four member team took up the role in January last year. Executive partner Michael Lacovara left the firm for Latham & Watkins in June 2016.