Legal Business

Revolving doors: McDermott hires Hogan Lovells private equity head as Dechert loses partners in London and Paris

The lateral market maintained momentum last week as McDermott Will & Emery hired from Hogan Lovells with both Addleshaw Goddard and Paul Hastings targeting Dechert.

McDermott added Hogan Lovells’ global private equity head Tom Whelan. Whelan, who is experienced in private equity life cycle, has worked with private equity sponsors, multi strategy funds and corporates. His work includes advising on buyouts, M&A, bolt-ons, restructurings and refinancings through to exits.

Hamid Yunis, McDermott’s London managing partner told Legal Business: ‘We are always looking to build upon the strong practices which we have in London and to add top quality lawyers who are equally focused on providing world class client service.’

Addleshaws has hired restructuring partner Paul Fleming who joins the London business support and restructuring insolvency practice from Dechert.

Fleming has been involved in cross-border work, both in restructuring and contentious insolvency matters and advises creditors including institutional lenders and bondholders, stakeholders, insolvency practitioners and directors.

Partner and head of business support and restructuring, Ged Barnes commented: ‘This is the start of an ambitious strategy for the team which will help us to capitalise on our international offices.  Paul’s expertise in cross border insolvencies, funds recovery work and complex, high value insolvency litigation is a great fit with our existing practice.’

Meanwhile, Burges Salmon hired partner Stuart McMillan to its banking team from DLA Piper. He has worked in energy and infrastructure finance and advised banks and borrowers on project finance, acquisition finance and real estate finance deals involving cross-border financing. He will help develop the general Scottish banking practice as well as the firm’s infrastructure, real estate and energy offering.

Burges Salmon managing partner, Roger Bull told Legal Business: ‘Stuart is extremely high quality with a great reputation in the market. From our perspective, he’s got great experience in relation to finance and projects along with some of the other sectors that we’ve been focusing on like energy and renewables. He has those particular skills that will assist and drive our client offer forward in Edinburgh.

‘Banking is performing well. We’re having strong performance across the firm so far this financial year. The banking team are ever expanding their remit, expertise and focus which is very much aligned with Stuart’s appointment,’ added Bull.

Elsewhere, Fieldfisher has hired Paul Stockley as its new co-head of oil and gas. He joins the energy and natural resources group in London from Womble Bond Dickinson where he was head of oil and gas.

Stockley said: ‘The firm’s reputation for all forms of energy and natural resources work is already well-established across the industry and I am encouraged by its ambitious plans for future growth. I look forward to being a part of those plans, leveraging off a tremendous brand and platform.’

Paul Hastings has added to its Paris office with the hire of corporate partner Charles Cardon from Dechert. He has a focus on takeovers, M&A, private equity, and capital markets transactions.

Cardon advises public companies in their takeover bids, issuance of securities, governance matters, disclosure requirements and relationship with shareholders, as well as corporate law matters.

Meanwhile, in Brussels, Alston & Bird has added senior privacy and cybersecurity partner Wim Nauwelaerts from Sidley Austin.

Privacy and cybersecurity co-chair Jim Harvey commented: ‘Privacy and cybersecurity continue to be increasingly critical issues for CEOs and boards, especially among US-based multinationals that view data protection as a global issue.

‘Wim is an internationally recognised attorney in the EU privacy and cybersecurity arena with a well-earned reputation as a trusted voice in advising senior executives in the US, Europe, and elsewhere on strategic business decisions and initiatives involving their companies’ most valuable data assets,’ Harvey added.

Legal Business

Asia: US firms chase disputes work as Kobre & Kim and Alston & Bird launch new offices and Reed Smith builds in Singapore


The past week has continued to see law firms invest in Asia with US litigation outfit Kobre & Kim chasing litigation work with a new office in Seoul, Alston & Bird targeting intellectual property (IP) mandates with its first Asian office and Reed Smith building its projects practice with a focus on disputes.

Following in the footsteps of Allen & Overy and White & Case – just two from a pack of firms that have marched into South Korea – US litigation outfit Kobre & Kim will also open its doors in Seoul and become the only foreign law firm in Korea to focus solely on disputes and investigations.

With its conflict-free model, the firm plans to continue to work with others as ‘conflict/special litigation or investigative counsel’, as well as establishing a local team that focuses on Western government investigations, and offshore litigation.

Co-founder and partner Michael Kim, who is a former US Department of Justice prosecutor fluent in Korean, will head the team that so far includes a US-qualified lawyer and a financial analyst. The firm will work closely with its US government enforcement practice, which is active in Korea-related cases.

‘In Korea, we are offering two products not available in the current market: a Seoul-based Korean fluent team focusing on US government investigations, as well as Hong Kong and offshore litigation capabilities,’ said Kim.

Also expanding is Alston & Bird – a firm that has not been deterred by China’s slowing economy from launching an office in Beijing. The new base will focus on advising Chinese companies on US IP law in federal and state courts across a range of patent, licensing and other disputes.

The new office is located in the Hanwei Office Building in Beijing’s central business district. Alston & Bird partner Yitai Hu will serve as chief representative of the new office, and work alongside IP partner Helen Su.

‘For many years, we have assisted a number of Chinese clients in the US across a broad range of services, including IP disputes, products liability litigation, cross-border M&A and international tax matters,’ said Alston & Bird managing partner Richard Hays. ‘The launch of our Beijing office recognises the importance and success of these practices by formalising a presence around practices that Alston & Bird has had for many years.’

Hu added: ‘Although IP law will be a primary focus, we will also represent Chinese companies in the US in foreign direct investment, complex litigation, international trade and other areas where Alston & Bird has marquee practices.’

Meanwhile, Reed Smith is expanding in Singapore with the hire of partners Calvin Chan and Kohe Hasan who join the firm’s energy and natural resources group, from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Oon & Bazul respectively.

Both Chan and Hasan are international commercial arbitration and disputes lawyers, with Chan having experience in Foreign Corrupt‎ Practices Act (FCPA) matters and investigations, while Hasan primarily advises clients on the acquisition and financing aspects of energy and infrastructure projects including mine acquisition, concession agreements and power generation assets. The duo’s arrival brings team headcount to 19 lawyers, including seven partners.

The firm first launched in Singapore in 2012, to support its clients in the energy and natural resources sector and has since invested in hiring talent to bulk up its offering, which included the hire of former counsel at Herbert Smith Freehills Charles Ball who joined in 2013 to head the firm’s Indonesia Group.

Gautam Bhattacharyya, Reed Smith’s Singapore office managing partner, said: ‘We have established a strong foundation in Singapore, ensuring a team with deep sector and local as well as regional market knowledge. Our‎ focus is to build upon that further and enhance our geographical reach and resources across Indonesia, the Indochina region and China. With Calvin and Kohe on board, we have an even stronger platform to do that.’