Legal Business

Sponsored briefing: The inside view – Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP

Disputes specialist Joseph Hage Aaronson has achieved extraordinary results in a market packed with high achievers. Here’s everything you need to know

In 2018, specialist disputes practice Joseph Hage Aaronson (JHA) celebrates its fifth birthday. In the half-decade since it was first founded, the firm has experienced meteoric growth, driven by a combination of its integrated approach and unique client offer.

Legal Business

Revolving doors: Cadwalader, JHA and Memery Crystal make key City hires as international moves dominate

In a quieter week for City recruitment, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft  made a key hire in London while a number of firms expanded their teams internationally.

Cadwalader reinvigorated its finance practice with the hire of partner Samantha Hutchinson from Dentons, after an exodus saw four partners leave its City restructuring practice at the start of this year.  Hutchinson specialises in advising lenders on a range of financing products across all fund sectors.

Dentons also lost corporate partner Zarko Iankov to independent London firm Memery Crystal. Iankov had been at Dentons for 15 years, specialising in international M&A work.

Elsewhere in the City, boutique firm Joseph Hage Aaronson (JHA) confirmed the appointment of disputes expert Richard Kiddell, having left Hogan Lovells after 13 years at the firm.

Joe Hage, managing partner at JHA, commented: ‘Richard brings with him a wealth of expertise that will help us to deliver added value to current clients, increase the depth of our offer and support our associates in their professional development.’

Keystone Law acquired former Seddons partner Susan Monty as the firm strengthened its dispute resolution practice. Monty has experience as an investigative lawyer at the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), and her appointment increases Keystone’s disputes team to 80 lawyers.

Osborne Clarke also made strategic additions, with the recruitment of Simon Thomas from Macfarlanes.  Thomas will join OC’s financial services team, having previously been a partner in the investment management group at Macfarlanes.

Kate Johnson, head of the financial institutions group at OC, lauded the hire, saying: ‘Simon brings a great market profile, strong credibility and outstanding personal client contacts. We look forward to having him on board.’

The international lateral scene saw more movement, as Hogan Lovells made a three-partner hire in Los Angeles, enhancing its national bankruptcy and restructuring practices. Richard Wynne, Bennet Spiegel and Erin Brady all join the firm from Jones Day  as Hogan Lovells boosts its California offering. The move comes after rival global firm Baker McKenzie recruited a five-partner employment and litigation team in LA from Hogan Lovells last month.

Chris Donoho, head of Hogan Lovells’ business restructuring and insolvency practice, said: ‘We have been looking to expand the national capabilities of our BRI practice, and Rick, Bennet and Erin are an ideal fit’

In Europe the lateral market was quiet, with Reed Smith being one of the few to make hires as the firm expanded its corporate practice with the acquisition Florian Hirschmann in Munich. Hirschmann joins from DLA Piper where he co-headed the China desk, while specialising in private equity and M&A work.

Delphine Currie, co-chair of the firm’s corporate practice, believed the hire will: ‘complement our existing capabilities and ensure we are able to offer our clients an even greater corporate service across Europe’

In Asia, Linklaters bolstered its disputes practice with the hire of former Goldman Sachs managing director Andrew Chung. Chung, who will join Linklaters the firm’s Hong Kong office as a partner in August, focuses on disputes and regulatory matters across the Asia-Pacific region.

Meanwhile Clyde & Co [] a significant departure in the Asia-Pacific, as Beijing managing partner Patrick Zheng left for Shanghai-based Llinks Law Offices. Before arriving at Clyde & Co, Zheng co-led the Greater China international arbitration practice for Clifford Chance (CC). Zheng will now help Llinks develop its Chinese clients’ outbound disputes practice.

Legal Business

Hiring a silk: Stone Chambers chief Steven Gee QC to depart for City disputes boutique Joseph Hage Arronson


High flying disputes boutique Joseph Hage Aaronson is set to enhance its City team with the hire of leading silk Steven Gee QC, who serves as the current head of Stone Chambers.

A heavyweight commercial litigator, Gee practices across various types of commercial work including commercial contracts, joint ventures, partnership, sale of goods, insurance, reinsurance, misrepresentation and civil fraud, shipping, shipbuilding, company law and banking.

The dual-qualified silk also sits as a commercial arbitrator and has acted in several commercial arbitrations across England, Bermuda, New York, Paris and Geneva. Experience in major cases includes the Alexandros T litigation last year, a Supreme Court jurisdictional battle over a vessel between English insurers and its Greek owners; and Global Process Systems v Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Berhad, the first marine insurance case to reach the new Supreme Court.

At the time of writing it was unknown when Gee was due to start at Central London-based Joseph Hage Arronson.

Hage Aaronson, which was set up last year by tax silk Graham Aaronson QC with former One Essex Court barrister Joe Hage, expanded its international reach by establishing a referral relationship with New York disputes firm Gregory Joseph, which was launched in 2001 by a group of former Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson partners. The relationship puts the firm on a par with boutique heavyweight Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in being able to service both sides of the Atlantic.

Other major recruits since opening include KPMG UK’s former head of direct tax litigation Michael Anderson, Blackstone Chambers’ former head Thomas Beazley QC, and high-profile litigator Simon Whitehead who quit US firm Dorsey & Whitey last year alongside fellow tax litigation partner Paul Farmer.