Legal Business

Herbert Smith Freehills curtails London promotions in 22-strong global partnership round

Herbert Smith Freehills curtails London promotions in 22-strong global partnership round

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has unveiled an increased 22-strong global partner promotions round for 2019, however this includes a reduction in London appointments.

Overall, it is a significantly larger round than last year, when 17 lawyers were promoted globally, with six in London. But the promotions, effective 1 May 2019, see only four partners minted in London, with six each made up in EMEA, Asia and Australia.

Eight of the 22 new partners are female, equal to 36%. Although the proportion of female promotions is better than many firms, it is still a sharp fall from 2018, where an overwhelming majority (82%, 14 out of 17) were female.

Of the four London promotions, half of them qualify into the firm’s finance practice: Pedro Rufino Carvalho, who specialises in energy and infrastructure finance, and John Chetwood, who offers restructuring and insolvency expertise.

Miriam Everett, who has a data protection and privacy slant, will be an addition to HSF’s City corporate practice. Rounding off the London promotions, Chris Ninan qualifies into the firm’s esteemed disputes group with a background in financial services regulation.

HSF chief executive Mark Rigotti (pictured) described the new partners as ‘future leaders of our firm’ and added: ‘These new partners are outstanding lawyers and have built deep relationships with clients, developed a wealth of expertise, and demonstrated a real understanding of our firm values and culture. Their diverse skills and experiences will further enhance the strength of our global network.’

Last week, UK top-25 competitors Eversheds Sutherland and Fieldfisher unveiled their partnership rounds, with the firms globally promoting 27 and 17 partners respectively.

The full list of HSF partner promotions:

Pedro Rufino Carvalho, finance, London
John Chetwood, finance, London
Miriam Everett, corporate, London
Chris Ninan, disputes, London
Marius Boewe, competition, Düsseldorf
Tomás Díaz Mielenhausen, real estate, Madrid
Laurence Franc-Menget, disputes, Paris
Marcel Nuys, competition, Düsseldorf
Nick Oury, disputes, Dubai
Daniel Vowden, competition, Brussels
Jeremy Birch, disputes, Hong Kong
Natalie Curtis, disputes, Singapore
Tomas Furlong, disputes, Singapore
Matthew Goerke, corporate, Jakarta
Calvin Ho, corporate, Beijing
Adelaide Luke, competition, Hong Kong
Adam Charles, corporate, Melbourne
Kate S Cahill, disputes, Sydney
Natalie Gaspar, employment, Melbourne
Katherine Gregor, corporate, Melbourne
Melissa Swain-Tonkin, corporate, Brisbane
Kwok Tang, corporate, Sydney

tom.baker@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Deal View: Herbert Smith Freehills’ corporate team – credibility and polish only get you so far up the table

Deal View: Herbert Smith Freehills’ corporate team – credibility and polish only get you so far up the table

‘It’s like the rivalry between Fulham and Chelsea,’ notes one former Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) partner of his old club’s oft-cited tension between corporate and disputes. ‘Fulham fans think of Chelsea as one of its biggest rivals. Chelsea fans think of Fulham as that nice team down the road.’

No prizes for guessing that it is corporate that represents the plucky underdog in this reading. At a glance, such a comparison seems uncharitable. HSF’s corporate team is ranked in The Legal 500’s second tier for premium M&A deals, alongside Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance; most peers still regard its City corporate team as the best outside the Magic Circle. The legacy Herbert Smith also has a history stretching back to the 19th century as one of London’s prominent corporate solicitors, long before its embryonic disputes team invented the modern City model of running litigation as a substantive business line in the 1970s.

Legal Business

Disputes round-up: White & Case continues hiring drive with RBS litigation head as HSF partner appointed deputy High Court judge

Disputes round-up: White & Case continues hiring drive with RBS litigation head as HSF partner appointed deputy High Court judge

White & Case is continuing its bid to add firepower to its London disputes bench with the hire of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)’s former head of litigation and investigations Laura Durrant as a partner.

Meanwhile, Swiss disputes firm LALIVE is opening an arbitration-focused office in London and Herbert Smith Freehills’ (HSF) litigation partner Adam Johnson QC has been appointed a deputy High Court judge.

Durrant started her career as an associate with HSF in 2006, before opting to move in-house to RBS in 2010 where she went on to occupy a number of roles. Most recently, she acted as the banking giant’s head of litigation, regulatory and investigations.

For White & Case, Durrant’s arrival continues a recent trend of hiring ex-banking lawyers. The firm brought in fellow litigation partner Chris Brennan in June, after previous spells at Lloyds Banking Group and the Financial Conduct Authority.

It also marks a concerted attempt by the expansive US firm to aggressively hire for its City disputes bench to enable it to contend with the Magic Circle. Last month, the firm enlisted contentious construction and engineering partner David Robertson to its arbitration team from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft litigation partner Steven Baker to its commercial litigation practice.

John Reynolds, White & Case disputes partner, told Legal Business: ‘We have made a concerted effort to bring in the right people for the banking litigation team, we’ve made four laterals in the area this year. The combination between Chris, myself and Laura I feel fantastically optimistic about, we all get on really well.’

Charles Balmain, head of EMEA disputes for White & Case, commented: ‘As we continue to compete toe-to-toe with the magic circle, it’s exciting to welcome an experienced and accomplished lawyer like Laura, who has a strong market profile and excellent relationships with key figures in the banking industry.’

Elsewhere, Withers has taken advantage of the recent exodus at the newly-formed Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, appointing legacy Bryan Cave’s head of arbitration Emma Lindsay.

Lindsay, who will be located in Withers’ New York office, is a dual-qualified international disputes lawyer and typically represents corporates and sovereigns across a range of jurisdictions.

Peter Wood, head of Withers’ disputes division, said: ‘Her arrival at the firm extends our international arbitration capabilities to the US. With Emma in place in New York, we can now offer our clients expert arbitration advice across the US, Asia and Europe.’

After the emphatic endorsement of being appointed to Queen’s Counsel in 2017, HSF litigation partner Adam Johnson QC has now been elected to serve as a deputy High Court judge.

Johnson QC will act on a four-year term and is expected to sit for around 30 days a year, dealing with complex cases which would otherwise be undertaken by permanent High Court judges. He has substantial experience from his time at HSF, joining the firm in 1988 and acting on high-profile mandates such as representing RBS in the litigation arising out of the 2008 rights issue.

Out of a total of 32 deputy High Court judges appointed, only four were solicitors. Picked alongside Johnson QC was Bristows’ competition and regulatory head Pat Treacy, former Powell Spencer and Partners lawyer Margaret Obi, and former Thompsons partner Mary Stacey.

Johnson QC told Legal Business: ‘I have been practising law for over 30 years and the profession has given a lot to me, so there is a sense that it was important for me to give something back. As a solicitor I hope that the expertise I have had in that role will provide a slightly different and valuable perspective.’

Finally, Swiss outfit LALIVE has announced that it is opening an office in London. The new outpost, which will be focused on commercial and investment treaty arbitration, will be led by a two-partner team consisting of Marc Veit and Timothy Foden.

Veit has been with LALIVE since 2014 while Foden has recently joined the firm after previously acting as of counsel at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

LALIVE has bucked recent fears by placing its faith in the UK as a post-Brexit arbitration hub. Veit commented: ‘We believe that the UK will remain a key location for international arbitration post-Brexit. London’s attractiveness as a seat for international arbitration may actually increase as third parties may see England as being a more neutral venue outside of the EU.’

tom.baker@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

HSF’s corporate ambitions take hit after losing seasoned trio to Morgan Lewis

HSF’s corporate ambitions take hit after losing seasoned trio to Morgan Lewis

Herbert Smith Freehills’ (HSF) rhetoric of improving corporate capabilities has taken a blow after a trio of transactional partners left for the London office of US firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

The departures include HSF’s head of London private equity, Mark Geday, who had been at the firm since 1996, alongside corporate partners Nicholas Moore and Tomasz Wozniak. They will come as a disappointment for HSF, particularly after the firm made concerted efforts to promote the success of its corporate practice over the last year.

All three partners have substantial experience working together in both HSF’s London office and its Moscow outpost. They have a strong client book spanning a range of sectors, including asset management, technology, natural resources, TMT and consumer products.

Morgan Lewis chair Jami McKeon said the trio’s client experience deepens ‘the ability of our leading corporate and business transactions practice to facilitate the kinds of deals that are critical to our clients’ global growth strategies.’ She added: ‘Their sophisticated insight into business environments will make them trusted advisers to our clients with multinational interests.’

HSF unveiled an uninspiring 1% growth in turnover to £926.8m in July, but chief executive Mark Rigotti was keen to highlight the performance of its corporate division. Its transactional team acted on some heavyweight mandates, most notably representing Sky during takeover bids by 21st Century Fox and Comcast, worth £18.5bn and £22bn respectively.

HSF said in a statement: ‘We can confirm that Mark Geday, Nicholas Moore and Tomasz Wozniak are retiring from the partnership. We thank them for their contribution to the firm, both during their time in Moscow and London, and we wish them well.’

tom.baker@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Top-line growth no longer a priority as profit jumps 12% at HSF

Top-line growth no longer a priority as profit jumps 12% at HSF

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) chief executive Mark Rigotti says the days of focusing on revenue growth ‘are gone’ after the firm revealed today (4 July) less than one percent turnover growth for 2017/18 against a 12% increase in profit per equity partner (PEP).

Revenue at HSF during what it described as a period of encouraging growth was £926.8m, barely up on last year’s £920.5m. HSF’s profits, meanwhile, rose 8% to £277.2m and PEP was up from £760,000 to £852,000. The firm’s financial figures are not currency-adjusted but foreign exchange impacts were described as marginal.

HSF chief executive Mark Rigotti told Legal Business the discrepancy between revenue and profits was ‘because we focused on client relationships, we’ve had some big ones come home for us this year. Clients are putting pressure on prices, the old days of putting rates up and focusing on revenues are gone’.

In terms of highlights, Rigotti pointed to strong regional performances. HSF’s Paris office has achieved a 30% increase in revenue over the last five years, while turnover in Madrid and Germany saw similar increases. HSF’s alternative legal services hub based in Belfast, where revenue has grown by 90% on a five-year basis, was also performing well

The most robust regional performance was in New York, however, where the office saw a 40% climb in revenues over the last year. It is no secret that HSF has been seeking a US tie-up, and Rigotti said HSF was building up new financial services capability in New York.

But he played down immediate possibilities of a transatlantic merger: ‘Our strategy is clear – focus on and strengthen our current US client relationships; continue a strengthening of our New York office and position for sensible strategic combination opportunities. About 25% of our clients are US-based so we will continue to serve them.’

Rigotti was also keen to highlight the performance of the firm’s corporate department, due to HSF’s perception as a disputes-heavy outfit. The corporate division acted on nearly 120 cross-border deals with a combined value of $200bn in 2017, most notably representing Sky during takeover bids by 21st Century Fox and Comcast, worth £18.5bn and £22bn respectively.

HSF’s results follow a mixed financial performance at the Anglo-Australian firm last year when revenue grew 11% but profits marginally fell.

Comparing HSF’s results to the early benchmark set by major City firms makes for unfavourable viewing – Clifford Chance (CC) recorded a 5% income hike to £1.623bn, with PEP up by nearly 16%, while Ashurst reported a modest 4% uptick in revenue to £564m, alongside 11% growth in PEP.

HSF also announced yesterday (3 July) a shake-up of its compensation packages for UK associates, moving away from a PQE system to a more merit-driven setup.

The firm introduced ‘career milestones’ whereby pay will be determined by performance. The total cash potential for junior associates, which incorporates NQ to 2 PQE, is £92k-£114k. HSF has also scrapped annual performance reviews in favour of a more flexible approach based on regular feedback and conversations.

Rigotti said the shake-up wasn’t designed to reward any particular in-demand practice areas: ‘We feel it is fair to those that are making a bigger contribution to be rewarded. We needed flexibility to be able to achieve that.’

tom.baker@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Full disclosure: Links and HSF usher in personal relationship policies in bid to face #MeToo demons

Full disclosure: Links and HSF usher in personal relationship policies in bid to face #MeToo demons

City firms Linklaters and Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) have been spurred into action by the swathe of sexual misconduct allegations that in recent months have plagued the industry, launching personal relationship disclosure and whistleblowing initiatives within a fortnight of one another.

In early May, Linklaters issued ‘guidance on how to manage relationships at work’, with the imperative that partners and staff disclose any relationship with colleagues to an office, group or practice head, or someone in HR, in order to manage ‘actual or potential’ conflict of interest.

Legal Business

‘A unique buzz’: Herbert Smith to exit Finsbury Square to set up in Canary Wharf

‘A unique buzz’: Herbert Smith to exit Finsbury Square to set up in Canary Wharf

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) is set to relocate nearly 500 of its City workforce to a new office in Canary Wharf, as the firm moves out of its Finsbury Square base.

The move, announced today (17 May), will see 495 staff – including the majority of HSF’s London business services staff – relocated to the new office on Bank Street in September.

HSF will close its secondary base in Finsbury Square while keeping its UK headquarters at Exchange House on Primrose Street.

HSF says that the Wharf will reduce the proximity between services and clients, while still retaining valued members of the workforce, with a move further afield potentially signalling staff losses.

The move followed a postcode analysis in which Stratford, White City and Croydon were all considered before Canary Wharf was chosen.

Speaking to Legal Business, HSF managing partner Ian Cox lauded the benefits of the move: ‘The advantage is locating all these teams in a much more flexible way. When we went through the process, we looked at other locations and solutions but wanted to retain who we could’.

The firm followed a similar course in Australia, moving part of its Sydney workforce to a new office in Macquarie Park, which opened its doors in April.

HSF also recently announced that staff should disclose personal relationships with colleagues, while also introducing a third-party whistleblowing platform.

On the new office, Cox added: ‘The initial feedback has been very positive, Canary Wharf has a very unique buzz’

thomas.alan@legalbusiness.co.uk

Legal Business

Sponsored briefing: Redefining dispute resolution – challenging orthodoxy

Sponsored briefing: Redefining dispute resolution – challenging orthodoxy

Herbert Smith Freehills reports on evidence that technology and collaboration should drive a new approach to dispute resolution

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has co-led an ambitious project spanning two years, working with the International Mediation Institute (IMI), PwC, and other global corporates and institutions. The Global Pound Conference (GPC) has reviewed how dispute resolution can be improved to respond to the needs and expectations of commercial parties (users).

Unique in terms of scale and format, the research canvassed the views of over 3,000 delegates at 28 conferences in 24 countries worldwide, plus hundreds more who contributed online. Each conference was run around four interactive sessions looking at both the demand and supply sides of the dispute resolution market.

A report published in May 2018 by HSF, PwC and IMI summarises the results of the first analysis of the global data, identifying four key global themes.

1. Efficiency is the key priority in choice of dispute resolution process

Most dispute resolution still has as its frame of reference an adversarial process (litigation or arbitration) based on asserted legal rights. Yet two thirds of users canvassed at GPC events said they require more efficiency in dispute resolution. This questions whether traditional dispute resolution processes meet the needs of users.

Finding the efficient way to resolve a dispute may not always be the fastest or cheapest, but it requires thought and engagement to bring appropriate resolution in acceptable timeframes and at realistic costs. Users may need to communicate their priorities, expectations and underlying interests to lawyers more clearly. In turn, lawyers must challenge themselves to focus relentlessly on their client’s interests, being prepared to initiate or facilitate non-traditional dispute resolution methods.

2. Users expect greater collaboration from advisers

Around two thirds of users also said they need to see more collaboration from advisers. This applies both when lawyers are interacting with clients and opponents. This questions traditional notions of how lawyers should represent clients. Is the zealous advocate, fighting their client’s corner tenaciously, still required? Interestingly, two thirds of advisers said they still saw their role as advocates for their clients.

With the lawyers of Generation Y, Millennials and Generation Z growing into positions of influence within corporates and throughout the dispute resolution community, the concept of collaboration in a way that would have been unthinkable to the litigators of a generation ago may already be an accessible reality to a community that has grown up on crowd-funded solutions and sharing through social media.

The 21st century lawyer needs to deliver dispute resolution process design, collaboration to secure efficient results, as well as traditional tough representation when called for. Greater emphasis on collaboration between in-house and external lawyers, and between disputing parties, will lead the way for more efficient resolution of commercial disputes.

Alexander Oddy, global head of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) at HSF and the driving force at the firm behind the project, said: ‘An early case assessment is a good example of how closer collaboration can increase efficiency with in-house counsel and external lawyers working together to review the wider interests and risks. The results can in turn help inform a more resolution-focused approach with counterparties.’

Whether these differences reflect different experiences between users and advisers, there is a clear challenge to the legal community to listen to clients. They must discuss whether collaboration is wanted and what that means in a given situation (particularly when disputes are acrimonious or thought to be unmeritorious).

3. Global interest in the use of pre-dispute protocols and mixed-mode dispute resolution

With the data pointing towards more collaborative and efficient processes like mediation, delegates unsurprisingly highlighted a near universal recognition that disputing parties should be encouraged to consider processes like mediation before they commence adjudicative dispute proceedings. Interestingly, the data showed a growing desire by users to see non-adjudicative processes like mediation undertaken in parallel with litigation or arbitration.

Anita Phillips, a professional support consultant in the firm’s Hong Kong office, who led much of the GPC initiative across Asia, commented: ‘The data is timely, particularly in Asia. As China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative gathers pace, corporates from a broad range of sectors are vying for large international projects and disputes are inevitable. One proposal under consideration by the Chinese government is for Belt and Road disputes to be resolved through mediation, and only failing resolution should parties proceed to arbitration. I expect to see more use of mixed-mode processes like mediation with arbitration or mediation with litigation in the years to come. The GPC data reinforces this direction of travel.’

4. The role of lawyers

The GPC data flagged some uncomfortable truths for lawyers, whether in-house or private practice.

In-house counsel are the agents to facilitate organisational change

The results showed a broad consensus that in-house counsel are change enablers and should encourage their organisations (and, if necessary, their external lawyers) to consider dispute resolution options more carefully, including using processes like mediation. ‘Based on our earlier market research, reinforced by GPC, we’re working with in-house counsel to maximise their value,’ said Justin D’Agostino, global head of disputes at the firm. ‘Disputes are always unwelcome, but speedy resolution and settlement paint in-house legal teams in a far more positive light. Improving internal systems and taking a more strategic approach to dispute avoidance and resolution can help businesses achieve important time and cost savings.’

External lawyers are the primary obstacles to change

70% of global delegates said private practice lawyers are the primary obstacles to change in commercial dispute resolution. This is blocking progress and leading to a perpetuation of the ‘same old processes’: litigation or arbitration. The conferences explored whether advisers might be making recommendations for dispute resolution based on the potential to earn fees. But the voting data suggested that this was not a major factor, or at least it was less significant than factors like the type of outcome required or familiarity with a dispute resolution process.

Rather than rehearsing tired arguments about lawyers not promoting ADR for fear of its impact on their revenues, the data suggests the underlying issue is more closely linked to something beyond training and education – familiarity. This calls into question how we are equipping tomorrow’s lawyers to best advise their clients in disputes. Putting processes like mediation on an equal footing with litigation and arbitration in law schools and on vocational courses may be necessary.

How does the UK stack up?

Lord Woolf’s ground-breaking reforms to the civil justice system in England and Wales in the late 1990s embedded the role of ADR in the case management of civil litigation. Nearly 20 years on, the data from the London GPC Series finale reveals well-informed in-house counsel familiar with dispute resolution processes, focused on collaboration and efficient dispute resolution using non-adjudicative processes in pre-action protocols and mixed-mode dispute resolution.

Delegates in London were by far the clearest in identifying that the parties to commercial disputes typically want lawyers to work collaboratively to navigate the dispute resolution process. In other regions delegates viewed the role of lawyers as advocates as being of broadly equivalent significance, except for North America where the tradition of zealous advocacy on behalf of clients was readily apparent in the preference for lawyers advocating on behalf of their clients.

When delegates in London were asked about the main obstacles parties face when seeking to resolve commercial disputes, insufficient knowledge of the options available was far lower than in other regions.

While the Woolf reforms have been widely celebrated as an enlightened step forward in the administration of civil justice, it seems the GPC data may be providing some real evidence of how changes in civil procedure to promote ADR can bring about progressive attitudes among a generation of users.

Alex Oddy, partner, and Anita Phillips, professional support consultant, Herbert Smith Freehills

What role will technology play?

The GPC data also highlights the important role technology has to play in realising much sought after efficiencies and collaboration. This is not limited to electronic discovery and filing. Dispute management tools and online dispute resolution also have the capacity to change radically the way disputes are resolved over the next decade. Advancement in data analysis enables advisers and legal teams to review and investigate large amounts of data quickly, and assess risk in ever more sophisticated ways. Social tools and online platforms are making it easier for lawyers to work more closely with each other and with their clients. Alexander Oddy commented: ‘Disruptive technology will force greater efficiency and collaboration in dispute resolution. But in many quarters, a mindset shift is required to appreciate that up-front costs in technology can lead to long-term savings.’

Return to the Disputes Yearbook 2018 menu

Legal Business

‘Common sense’: Herbert Smith follows Linklaters’ lead in personal relationship disclosure and whistleblowing network

‘Common sense’: Herbert Smith follows Linklaters’ lead in personal relationship disclosure and whistleblowing network

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has become the second leading law firm to instruct partners and staff to disclose personal relationships with colleagues, while also introducing a third-party whistleblowing platform.

As part of a shake-up of its global policies and guidelines, HSF has introduced a new policy entitled ‘Personal Relationships in the Workplace.’ The firm stated that it is intended to ‘provide a framework to deal sensitively, consistently and fairly with personal relationships which may affect the business.’

However an HSF statement insisted: ‘it is not intended to prohibit partners or staff from having a personal relationship with a work colleague, client or supplier.’ Notably, the guideline also asserts: ‘all partners and staff are asked to use common sense in assessing whether or not this policy is relevant to their circumstances.’

Such initiatives can be seen as a response to the #MeToo movement – from which the legal industry has been far from exempt – and the firm’s decision to introduce a third-party whistleblowing service compounds that.

The service, called Faircall, is independently monitored by Big Four accountancy firm KPMG and is able to be contacted by phone or email to report professional wrongdoing, harassment or other misconduct.

HSF will be eager to be seen cracking down on harassment and misconduct, after an Australian partner was suspended in March following claims of sexual harassment.

HSF chief executive Mark Rigotti told Legal Business however that plans to make such policy changes had been in place since before Christmas. On the Australian incident, Rigotti said: ‘It’s not a reaction to that circumstance but that situation certainly sped things up a bit.’

Rigotti added: ‘There’s no doubt there’s a focus on the themes represented in the #MeToo movement at the moment. What it has done is make us think about what best practice is everywhere. People should feel comfortable coming forward and speaking up and seeking help, whether that’s in the UK, Australia or anywhere.’

It is too early to say whether such procedural revamps are the start of a trend, but HSF has followed closely in Linklaters’ footsteps. The Magic Circle firm announced earlier this month that it was to introduce similar rules on personal relationships, and also ushered in an independent whistleblowing service called SpeakUp.

Just last week, disputes leader Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan became the latest firm to sack a partner after what the firm described as ‘inappropriate behaviour.’

tom.baker@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Revolving Doors: Herbert Smith Freehills raids Watson Farley as firms strengthen in the City and abroad

Revolving Doors: Herbert Smith Freehills raids Watson Farley as firms strengthen in the City and abroad

Four Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) partners have decamped to Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) – including aviation specialist Rex Rosales – while lateral hires in the City and abroad continue.

The four-partner hire for HSF sees two moves to London and Singapore respectively. WFW’s aviation sector head Rosales will be joined by asset finance group specialist Jahnavi Ramachandran in London, while finance expert Siva Subramaniam and aviation partner Samuel Kolehmainen leave WFW to join HSF’s Singapore office.

In a statement, HSF global head of finance, real estates and projects Jason Ricketts said: ‘With unprecedented investment levels in aviation and other transport, infrastructure and projects across the globe, strengthening our asset finance practice makes good business sense’.

Meanwhile Hogan Lovells has launched a trade practice in London with a partner hire from Squire Patton Boggs. Aline Doussin will be the firm’s first dedicated trade partner in the City. She had been a partner at Squire Patton Boggs since 2014.

Global head of Hogan Lovells government regulatory practice Alice Valder said: ‘Hiring additional experienced trade partners in Europe has been a strategic priority for us.’.’

Elsewhere in the City, Stephenson Harwood has hired Catriona Berman to the firm’s real estate group. Berman joins from Goodwin Procter, which she joined in 2015.

Arnold & Porter also strengthened in London, with the hire of Jane Wessel from Crowell & Moring. Wessel holds experience in competition damages litigation and will enhance Arnold & Porter’s antitrust litigation practice.

John Schmidt, who leads Arnold & Porter’s London competition team, said: ‘Jane brings broad experience to our firm, enhancing our existing multijurisdictional and multilingual London team, and further bolstering our ability to serve clients globally’.

International hires last week included the arrivals of Jacques-Philippe Gunther and Adrien Giraud at Latham & Watkins in Paris and Brussels from Willkie Farr & Gallagher as the firm strengthened its antitrust practice on the continent.

Gunther brings experience advising clients on complex disputes before the European and French competition authorities, the European Court of Justice and the French courts. Giraud has experience practising in New York, Paris and Brussels, advising on an array of competition matters.

In Spain, Pinsent Masons further expanded with the appointment of public law specialist Pablo Dorronsoro. Joining from Baker Mackenzie, where he spearheaded the public law and infrastructure department, Dorronsoro will head up Pinsents public law office in Madrid.

Further afield, the standout hire in the US was Kirkland & Ellis bringing over experienced litigation partner Sandra Goldstein to its New York office from Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

DAC Beachcroft has also appointed a partner to its disputes group. Pedro Claros will co-head the department’s international arbitration practicee and joins from leading Spanish independent Cuatrecasas. DAC completed two senior partner hires in the same week, also adding Graeme Bell from the London office of Irish heavyweight Mason Hayes & Curran.

In the Asia Pacific, Clyde & Co appointed insurance and cybersecurity practitioner John Moran to its Sydney office. Moran joins from Norton Rose Fulbright, and his addition will deepen Clyde & Co’s insurance footprint in Australia.

Clyde & Co senior partner, Simon Konsta said: ‘John has a standout reputation in the insurance industry and a practice that runs across the core of our insurance business in Australia.’

thomas.alan@legalbusiness.co.uk