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US lateral spree: Jones Day closes in on 50 hires for 2013 as King & Spalding continues to crank up City offering

In its 49th lateral hire of 2013, Jones Day has hired Latham & Watkins finance partner Brian Conway to its London banking and finance practice. His hire comes amid a spate of lateral hires to take place between US-based international firms recently.

Conway is the tenth partner to join one of the firm’s global banking and finance practices this year, following the hire of former co-chair of Miami-based firm Akerman Senterfitt’s Rafael Aguilar who joined Jones Day’s recently launched Miami banking and finance practice in July.

More recently, Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP) corporate finance partner and global head of private equity Raymond McKeeve left to join the private equity practice in London last month.

Conway’s appointment comes as the firm continues to strengthen its banking and finance practices worldwide with an increased focus on leveraged acquisitions across European jurisdictions.

Conway has 20 years’ experience of representing financial institutions on domestic and international cross-border financing transactions, including leveraged and Islamic finance.

Before Latham, he spent 13 years at White & Case, where he was a partner and helped build the firm’s banking and finance practice in Singapore and establish the leveraged finance practice in Asia.

Jones Day London head John Phillips said: ‘Brian will prove to be a significant boost to our finance capability in London. He is highly experienced in leveraged acquisition finance, which will be beneficial to our global clients as they look to execute deals in Europe’s largest financial hub. The City is a magnet for major multi-jurisdictional financial transactions and Brian has taken a lead role in some of the most significant leveraged financings led out of London over the past decade.’

Meanwhile, King & Spalding‘s lateral hiring programme in the City continues with the addition of Mayer Brown finance partner Angela Hayes to launch its London financial services regulatory practice. The hire is the seventh in a series of partner additions to the London office since the beginning of 2012, bringing the current number of partners to 16. Hayes was head of LG’s financial services regulatory group before joining Mayer Brown in 2008.

Most recently, King & Spalding recruited Egishe Dzhazoyan from Steptoe & Johnson in June, where he was a dispute resolution partner in London and co-head of the Russia and CIS group. He joined former Steptoe colleague Tom Sprange, as well as Jane Player and Sarah Walker, who joined from Bird & Bird last year.

Financial services regulatory becomes the firm’s second City practice launch this year after the firm opened its London trade practice in May with the hire of Bird & Bird’s head of international trade and customs, Iain MacVay. At the time, King & Spalding told Legal Business its ambition was to double its City base to around 60-75 fee earners by the end of 2014.

King & Spalding’s financial institutions practice co-leader Richard Marooney said: ‘Angela is a strong addition to our financial institutions practice. She expands our roster of finance partners who provide highly sophisticated work for our clients. Financial services regulatory law is a highly complex area of the law—made even more so with the enactment of the Financial Services Act 2012 and creation of the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority—and we are fortunate to have Angela join us.’

‘It is now the time for us to invest in a financial regulatory practice,’ said London co-managing partner Garry Pegg. ‘Regulatory work was once looked upon as a loss leader for global firms like us, but now in tougher economic climates, with financial institutions having been through highly visible public turmoil, the work has assumed a new and critical importance to our clients.’

Meanwhile in Brussels, Baker Botts has recruited heavyweight competition law specialist Georg Berrisch as a partner in its Brussels office from Covington & Burling. Berrisch is a recognized expert in competition law, state aid and trade matters in the European Union and has experience of developing political strategies in complex contentious proceedings before the European Commission, the Court of Justice and the General Court of the EU.

Most recently, he represented Ryanair in its appeal against the EU Commission merger control decision made earlier this year, which prohibited Ryanair from acquiring control of Aer Lingus. He joins Baker Botts partners Catriona Hatton and Paul Lugard, who opened the office last September.

‘Our goal since opening the Brussels office has been to provide our clients the type of quality legal representation on complex antitrust and trade matters expected of a global firm such as Baker Botts,’ said Hatton, the partner in charge of the London office. ‘Georg, as a skilled EU litigator with a great track record in competition and trade matters, adds significant strength to the Brussels office, not only for the EU market but also for clients across the Baker Botts global network.’

Meanwhile, Pillsbury has ramped up its London intellectual property (IP) office in a bid to add international and industry experience in contentious and non-contentious IP matters. The firm has hired a team of IP lawyers from Gowlings, including partner and founder of Gowlings’ London office James Tumbridge and partner Paul Harris.

Pillsbury chair James Rishwain said: ‘The addition of such experienced litigators to Pillsbury’s IP practice reinforces the firm’s capability to offer global counsel to international clients anywhere in the world. Their extensive experience on contentious IP matters and their government advisory work adds considerably to Pillsbury’s existing strengths in IP and global sourcing.’