Legal Business

Revolving doors: Specialists and US firms build up in the City

Revolving doors: Specialists and US firms build up in the City

Last week saw specialist and US firms strengthen their presence in the City and Europe as Kingsley Napley strengthened its disputes offering, Lee & Thompson hired a head of sports, Greenberg Traurig Maher brought in a corporate partner to its London office and McDermott Will & Emery hired a team of private equity lawyers in Paris.

Litigation specialist Kingsley Napley hired Will Christopher as a partner in its Dispute Resolution practice from Pinsent Masons. He specialises in civil fraud, asset recovery and investigations having led the business crime and commercial fraud group at McGrigors before its merger with Pinsents. Prior to that, he worked at Reid Minty and PCB Litigation focusing on fraud related litigation.

Meanwhile, Greenberg Traurig Maher expanded its City corporate team with the hire of corporate partner Joel Wheeler.

Wheeler joins Greenberg as an equity partner from Crowell & Moring where he has been a partner since 2009, with a focus on corporate and commercial matters, including M&A, private equity, debt and equity capital market offerings and corporate restructurings. He has experience on cross-border deals including in the US, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Kurdistan, China and Cambodia. Prior to Crowell, Wheeler worked at US firm Debevoise & Plimpton.

Greenberg chief executive officer Richard Rosenbaum said: ‘As the London office continues to target high profile, complex, cross-border deals, Joel’s extensive cross-border expertise across the US and Europe in particular, allows him to bring tremendous global experience and insight to this role. While Greenberg Traurig enjoys an outstanding transactional track record, we are increasingly looking to enhance and broaden the offering that our corporate and finance groups provide.’

The addition take Greenberg’s partner headcount in the City to 20 and almost 50 fee-earners but Wheeler’s exit will serve a blow to Crowell’s already small team in London, leaving just one full-time partner and London head Adrian Jones to hold the fort alongside three associates, and two other partners who both split their time between the London and Washington DC offices.

Another US firm also expanded its European offering as McDermott boosted its Paris office with a team of private equity specialists. The new arrivals consist of three partners, Henri Pieyre de Mandiargues, Carole Degonse and Grégoire Andrieux, who all join from Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle.

David Goldman, partner and head of McDermott’s corporate advisory practice said: ‘Our aim is to be recognized as one of the leading firms in the Paris legal market, and the arrival of this group adds tremendous expertise to the Firm’s transactional practice’

Back in the City, Oli Shipton joined Lee & Thompson as partner, having previously been Group General Counsel at Round World Entertainment (RWE). Shipton joins the corporate & commercial group and will also become a head of the firm’s sport group.

At RWE his role involved advising across the group’s varied business interests including 1966 Entertainment, which managed the commercial rights of the England Men’s National Football Team; 10Ten Talent which represent Pelé, Jack Wilshere, and Glenn Hoddle; and Iconic Images. Alongside his new role Oli will continue as principal counsel for the RWE businesses. His experience focuses on commercial contracts within the sporting and creative fields.

Legal Business

Asia: Reed Smith establishes South East Asia corporate practice as Greenberg launches in Tokyo

Asia: Reed Smith establishes South East Asia corporate practice as Greenberg launches in Tokyo

Reed Smith has hired Stephenson Harwood’s South East Asia head of corporate Matt Gorman to launch a corporate practice in the region from its Singapore office.

Gorman leaves Stephenson Harwood after 14 years, before which he was seconded to Royal Bank of Scotland for eight months in London. He joins as a partner with experience of advising on energy and natural resources, TMT, real estate and financial services deals.

Reed Smith first set up its Singapore office in 2012 offering client services in international arbitration; energy, commodities and natural resources; shipping and insurance recovery work; and finance including structured finance and derivatives.

Reed Smith Singapore office managing partner Gautam Bhattacharyya said: ‘We have built a strong platform in Singapore since we established our office and Matt’s arrival now ensures we are able to fully support the transactional needs of our clients.’

Gorman added: ‘The chance to continue to develop my own practice alongside the terrific platform that Gautam and the team have established in Singapore was a huge draw.’

Meanwhile, Greenberg Traurig has launched a new office in Tokyo with a three-partner team from DLA Piper and White & Case.

The new office will operate under the name Greenberg Traurig Horitsu Jimusho, with DLA Piper’s Koji Ishikawa heading the new office, while new co-chairs Yuji Ogiwara and Koichiro Ohashi are joining from White & Case. Tokyo, launched in response to growing client needs and increased investment into Japan, is Greenberg’s third in the region and will work closely with existing teams in Shanghai and Seoul.

The firm’s new partners said in a statement: ‘Contrary to its appearance, Japanese clients are not well served by international law firms in Tokyo. We often hear from Japanese clients that so-called “elite law firms” are too expensive and their practice areas are too narrow to meet their needs. Also, Japanese clients appear to have some frustration that other established US and foreign firms are too independent from their firms and do not provide good synergy with or access to their global operations. We will not suffer from these issues and will deliver not only an elite level of excellence but the true value that Japanese clients seek today.’

Legal Business

‘We would expect to bring in a few more lateral hires’ -Slaughter and May loses London tax partner to Greenberg Traurig Maher

‘We would expect to bring in a few more lateral hires’ -Slaughter and May loses London tax partner to Greenberg Traurig Maher

Having broken with tradition in making its first-ever lateral hire this year, Slaughter and May has seen a rare departure at partner level, with long-serving tax partner Graham Iversen leaving the firm to become head of Greenberg Traurig Maher‘s (GTM) London tax practice.

Iverson, who joined the Magic Circle firm in 1990 and made partner in 2000, becomes GTM’s second tax partner in London and seventeenth partner in total. He replaces Justin Hamer, who was recruited by GTM from Paul Hastings in 2009, who is retiring from the firm.

According GTM chair Paul Maher, Iversen’s name came up after the London practice canvassed colleagues for a suitable replacement for Hamer, in light of the fact that tax is a critical component of Greenberg Traurig’s practice internationally.

‘We would expect to bring in a few more lateral hires over the next three to six months,’ said Maher. ‘Graham’s a direct replacement for Justin but also part of strategy to grow our core components. Graham has a very broad skill set and there are very few things he hasn’t done. He will have a key role in building our European tax practice.’

Iversen’s exit, planned for November, takes Slaughter and May’s tax practice down to eight partners, with the firm promoting Dominic Robertson to partner last year. Senior partner Chris Saul confirmed Iversen’s departure and told Legal Business: ‘Graham has been an excellent member of the team here at the firm and we wish him every success.’

Legal Business

Greenberg Traurig hires Dentons London-based co-head of global real estate

Greenberg Traurig hires Dentons London-based co-head of global real estate

Greenberg Traurig has hired Dentons London-based co-head of global real estate Eric Rosedale as its co-chair of international real estate.

The newly-created role will see Rosedale (pictured) given a mandate to co-ordinate the Miami-founded firm’s real estate practice outside of the US, spreading his time across London, Amsterdam and Warsaw, working alongside co-chair Tim Webb, who focuses on the burgeoning real estate market in the United Kingdom.

Rosedale focuses on real estate M&A and private equity for international real estate funds and private equity players, as well as developments and financings. Some of his key clients include Blackstone, GE Real Estate, CV Starr, Meyer Bergman, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, AIG Global Real Estate and Heitman International.

Before Dentons, Rosedale was co-chairman of Salans’ global real estate group, which was part of a tripartite merger bewteen SNR Denton and Canadian firm Fraser Milner Casgrain in 2013. Other former senior roles include co-chairman of European property and finance at Weil Gotshal & Manges and a member of the international real estate team at Jones Day.

Greenberg Traurig chief executive officer Richard Rosenbaum said: ‘Eric will be another catalyst for integrating and growing our dynamic real estate practice globally, adding a high level of quality and value to the worldwide real estate client base.’

Rosedale added: ‘Throughout my career, I have been driven by the opportunity to build top-tier, cross border real estate teams, and the prospect of working with my old friends Rob Ivanhoe, Corey Light and many others at Greenberg Traurig in leveraging its exceptional US real estate practice globally is an extremely compelling and unique opportunity.’