Legal Business

Revolving doors: Dentons and Akin Gump double up in London as Squire Patton Boggs offsets loss in the City

Revolving doors: Dentons and Akin Gump double up in London as Squire Patton Boggs offsets loss in the City

A busy week for lateral hires saw Dentons, Akin Gump and Squire Patton Boggs each make City hires as DLA Piper turned to Aviva to expand its pensions team.

Dentons said today (30 September) it had hired M&A and private equity partner Paul Doris from the London office of US firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. He is the firm’s third corporate lateral hire in the last 18 months and advises financial sponsors, particularly in energy and infrastructure and in markets including Spain and Latin America.

Dentons’ UK corporate head David Collins (pictured) told Legal Business: ‘Paul’s skillset, sector focus and geographic coverage are all very much aligned to our strategy of building out a diversified corporate transactional practice in the UK which connects with our colleagues across the UK and the Dentons global platform.’

He added: ‘After what felt like a slightly extended summer break and pause in activity after a very busy first half of the year, we are back to high levels of activity across the team.’

Doris follows Dentons announcing last week it had hired restructuring and insolvency partner Richard Pallot-Cook in London. He re-joins from Simmons & Simmons and was previously a partner at Dentons.

Akin Gump, meanwhile, added two partners to its private equity practice, with Shaun Lascelles and Simon Rootsey joining the firm’s London office from Vinson & Elkins.

Partner in charge of Akin Gump’s London office, Sebastian Rice, told Legal Business: ‘We were very impressed with the work they’ve done, culturally they’re a great fit and we hope they will be a strong addition to our corporate team in terms of the clients they advise and the type of work they do.’

Akin Gump also hired finance partner Michael Gustafson to its London office from Pricoa Private Capital, where he was deputy chief legal officer. Gustafson was previously a partner at Bingham McCutchen before its London office joined Akin Gump in 2014.

‘The team who joined from Bingham McCutchen regarded Gustafson incredibly highly and he does very similar work to what we do. He’s coming back and we’re really excited to have him back,’ Rice added.

Squire Patton Boggs went both ways in London with the hire of banking partner Ian Yeo from Herbert Smith Freehills. The firm also lost employment partner Natalie Bellwood, however, to B2B IT services provider DXC Technology, where she becomes global head of employment.

Elsewhere, DLA hired Amrit McLean from Aviva, where she was propositions and sales director, as a partner to launch the firm’s pensions de-risking service. McLean has 13 years’ experience in pensions de-risking and pensions bulk annuity work.

UK head of pensions at DLA Piper Ben Miller told Legal Business: ‘There’s an awful lot of insurance that is being issued. There is a real need within the market for a really strong and comprehensive team led by somebody who has that sector experience and that’s what we’re able to do here.’

Finally, Osborne Clarke made a lateral hire from Thrings, bringing in Steve Schofield to its UK real estate practice, while in Poland, DWF appointed partner Paweł Stykowski as head of insurance in the firm’s Warsaw office. He joins from Wierzbowski Eversheds Sutherland where he headed the financial services and compliance practice.

muna.abdi@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Former Ashurst managing partner Collis quits for Squire Patton Boggs

Former Ashurst managing partner Collis quits for Squire Patton Boggs

Ashurst lifer and former managing partner James Collis has quit the firm to join the London arm of Squire Patton Boggs.

The finance partner, whose practice focuses on acquisition finance and general banking law, was at the helm of Ashurst for four years until June 2016, when he was replaced by current managing partner Paul Jenkins.

Collis took over from Ashurst litigation partner Simon Bromwich in May 2012 and was among the people guiding the firm through the 2013 merger with Australia’s Blake Dawson, becoming the first managing partner of the merged entity.

After training at Ashurst, he became a partner in 2005 and operated out of the firm’s Paris branch before taking on the management role. He announced in January 2016 that he would step down at the end of his four-year term, kicking off the selection process that resulted in Australia-based Jenkins’ anointment in June that year. Collis’ successor was then confirmed in his role in May this year.

Squires’ European managing partner Jane Haxby said Collis was ‘one of the City’s leading legal professionals, an outstanding practitioner in finance law, and a skilled and highly respected managing partner, who has successfully overseen one of the largest law firm mergers’.

The hire comes amid a turbulent period for Squires’ London arm, marked by a number of partner departures since the beginning of the year mainly to the London arm of Crowell & Moring. Financial litigation partner and former City head Robert Weekes quit at the beginning of the year, followed in February by former colleagues including litigation partner Laurence Winston, London insolvency head Cathryn Williams, insolvency partner Paul Muscutt, energy partner Robin Baillie and finance partner Andrew Knight.

This month, UK head of litigation Laurence Winston followed his former colleagues to Crowell. Squires also lost 15 lawyers to Morgan Lewis in February.

Haxby added: ‘Our London office is of strategic importance to our global firm and we will continue to build in key areas, including corporate, financial services and international dispute resolution.’

Marco.cillario@legalbusiness.co.uk

For more on post-Collis Ashurst, see ‘Inflection point – Ashurst steps back from the brink but can the revival last? ’ (£)

Legal Business

Revolving doors: Squire Patton Boggs and Addleshaws hire in Leeds, Taylor Wessing in France, Goodwin in Boston

Revolving doors: Squire Patton Boggs and Addleshaws hire in Leeds, Taylor Wessing in France, Goodwin in Boston

A steady pace of lateral hires continued into the second half of 2017, with Squire Patton Boggs and Addleshaw Goddard both taking on partners in the UK, Taylor Wessing in France and Goodwin Procter in Boston.

Addleshaws has hired experienced private equity partner Pete Wood from Pinsent Masons in Leeds. Wood advises clients in private equity and M&A across retail, financial services, manufacturing and consumer goods.

Addleshaws mergers and acquisitions partner Garry Elliott said Wood’s experience and track record will ‘further enhance our team’.

He described Wood’s hire as ‘testament to our ambition to remain as the number one Corporate team operating in the region’ and which would ‘bring further Private Equity experience and capability to our local and national teams’.

Squire Patton Boggs also announced the appointment of partner Simon Jones to its Birmingham office. Jones is the former Eversheds Sutherland’s Leeds head of technology and global head of automotive, and was previously head of technology and sourcing at DLA Piper, also in Birmingham.

Jones advises on a range of IT and outsourcing projects, with a particular focus on the impact of technology on the automotive and manufacturing sectors.

Squire Patton Boggs’ head of intellectual property & technology practice in Birmingham Stuart James said: ‘[Jones] has a very successful track record in advising on high profile IT and outsourcing projects in both the private and public sector.’

Held ‘in high regard by his clients for his commerciality and technical expertise, Simon will be a great asset; we are excited to welcome him to the firm,’ James said.

A rare loss for Latham & Watkins enhanced Taylor Wessing’s corporate capabilities in France. François Mary joins as a partner in the firm’s Paris office, after over 10 years at Latham. He specialises in corporate law, advising on mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, restructuring operations and minority investments.

Taylor Wessing Paris managing partner Gilles Amsallem said Mary’s expertise ‘adds to and reinforces the corporate platform of our firm in Paris.’

Meanwhile, Goodwin enhanced its real estate platform in Boston with partner Marc Lazar from Ropes & Gray, where he was co-head of the real estate investments and transactions group.

Lazar is experienced in real estate finance and investments, representing institutional investors, hedge funds, real estate and other private equity funds as well as lenders and developers, throughout the capital stack and across all asset classes.

‘Marc’s arrival deepens the industry reach of our fund formation, transactional, portfolio and public company teams, said Minta Kay, partner and chair of Goodwin’s global real estate.

His ‘strong technical skills and ability to execute multijurisdictional transactions for high-profile European clients will be extremely valuable to our group,’ said Samantha Lake Coghlan, partner and co-chair of Goodwin’s London office.

Legal Business

Squires former leader Crossley steps into disputes role as LLPs reveal 13% profit boost for Europe

Squires former leader Crossley steps into disputes role as LLPs reveal 13% profit boost for Europe

Squire Patton Boggs former Europe and Middle East managing partner Peter Crossley has returned to his old beat as a litigator, heading up the firm’s international disputes practice in London.

The move for the firm’s former European head (pictured) comes as Squires LLPs accounts reveal the firm’s UK and European operations had seen an increase in turnover of 3%, from £126.2m in the financial year ending 30 April 2015 to £129.5m last year.

The accounts include the firm’s Spanish, Belgian, German and Middle Eastern business. A breakdown showed UK revenue was up to £111.4m from £108m while continental Europe revenues were up to £17.9m from £17.5m.

Profitability also saw a significant boost, up 12.8% from £34.2m in 2014/15 to £38.6m in 2015/16. The top earning member saw pay up from £739,000 to £894,000 last financial year. The figures in the LLP accounts do not necessarily equate to the highest paid equity member and can relate to ‘golden handshakes’ to retiring members.

Key management personnel, which includes the firm’s management committee, designated members and global support directors, were paid £3.4m, down from £3.8m the year before.

The firm also cut its bank overdraft from £22m to £16.6m. While UK and European turnover was up, separate Middle East LLPs revealed turnover fell from £1m to £320,000.

The UK firm is made up of the legacy Hammonds practice under a verein structure following its merger with US practice Squires Sanders in 2011 and Washington DC firm Patton Boggs in 2014.

Crossley stepped down from his role leading the firm’s European arm last year, ending his 12 years in leadership having first been elected as legacy Hammonds managing partner in 2004. Before becoming managing partner, Crossley also served as the Hammonds head of litigation. He will now lead the London disputes offering, which includes 10 partners and 24 other lawyers.

The litigation veteran is succeeded as managing partner by former European corporate chair Jane Haxby. Crossley said: ‘It is a great honour to join our highly successful international dispute resolution practice. This a team of extremely talented lawyers with a global market leading reputation and I am very much looking forward to working together with George in London and playing a part in the continued success of our international practice.’

The international dispute resolution practice is led by global chair George von Mehren, who splits his time between Cleveland and London. The practice will add to its European bench strength with the hire of former ICC deputy secretary general José Ricardo Feris, who joins the firm as a partner in Paris in May.

matthew.field@legalease.co.uk

Read more in: ‘We have enough of a say’: Squire’s Peter Crossley on retirement, leadership and the US’

Legal Business

Squires continues German growth with three-partner Frankfurt team from WilmerHale

Squires continues German growth with three-partner Frankfurt team from WilmerHale

Transatlantic firm Squire Patton Boggs has recruited three litigation and competition partners from US firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, including the firm’s former Frankfurt office head.

Intellectual property and trademark litigator Reinhart Lange will join Squires in Germany, where he was partner-in-charge of the firm’s Frankfurt office. He joins with IP partner Christofer Eggers and counsel Eva Schalast, who joins as a partner.

All three are known for brand management and competition disputes and join along with a five-strong brand management team.

Lange has over 25 years of intellectual property and trademarks experience. He spent eight years at the US firm having joined along with Eggers from Mayer Brown in 2008 to launch WilmerHale’s Frankfurt operations.

Squires international dispute resolution global chair George von Mehren said: ‘We have a strong cartel litigation and competition dispute practice in Germany and this team’s arrival, coupled with the continued growth in competition-related litigation, will lead to further opportunities for the expansion of our practice as one of the leading firms for this type of specialist work.’

The firm has been expanding its operations in Germany, with Squires merging at the start of the year with San Francisco firm Carroll, Burdick & McDonough giving it an additional office in Böblingen, as well as its offices in Berlin and Frankfurt.

Squires recently appointed Jane Haxby as its new Europe and Middle East managing partner. Haxby was the firm’s chair of global corporate group for Europe, the Midde East and Africa and previously the firms Manchester managing partner.

Long-time European managing partner and former legacy Hammonds head Peter Crossley is understood to be remaining at the firm after stepping down from the leadership role at the end of the year.

matthew.field@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

‘Bringing fresh thinking’: Manchester-based Haxby wins Squires EMEA managing partner job

‘Bringing fresh thinking’: Manchester-based Haxby wins Squires EMEA managing partner job

Transatlantic firm Squire Patton Boggs has appointed Jane Haxby as its new European managing partner, taking on the role from Peter Crossley who is set to step down at the end of the year.

Haxby will take on the role from January serving a three year term. She was previously head of the firm’s Manchester office and chair of the firm’s global corporate group for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Haxby has spent most of her 23-year career in the Manchester office, where the firm has a strong history.

In September, Legal Business revealed Crossley was set to step down from his leadership role but remain at the firm. He confirmed to the partnership his retirement from the role earlier in the year, ending his 12 years leading the European branch having first been elected as legacy Hammonds managing partner in 2004.

Under Crossley’s watch, Squire has moved into the top 40 of the Global 100 with a turnover of $929.1m and a presence across the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Crossley helped guide legacy Hammonds through its US merger with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in 2011 and a merger with influential Washington DC lobbying firm Patton Boggs in 2014. A further merger with California disputes boutique Carroll, Burdick & McDonough in February this year added 50 lawyers creating a 1,500 lawyer firm with around 500 partners.

Haxby said: ‘I am delighted to take on this exciting new challenge. Having worked with many colleagues across the globe during my career with the firm it is clear that we are well-positioned to serve the evolving needs of our clients and unlock even greater potential from the vast talent and resources within our organisation.’

Global chair and chief executive Mark Ruehlmann said: ‘As the legal services industry goes through fundamental change, Jane will continue to bring fresh thinking that will advance our focus on collaboration, performance and delivering top-notch service to clients.’

The firm has also appointed top sports lawyer Fred Nance as its US global managing partner, based in Cleveland, succeeding Steve Mahon.

matthew.field@legalease.co.uk

For the full interview with Crossley from earlier this year, see ”We have enough of a say’: Squire’s Peter Crossley on retirement, leadership and the US’

Read Peter Crossley’s Life During Law here.

Legal Business

King & Wood loses five-lawyer energy team to Squire Patton Boggs

King & Wood loses five-lawyer energy team to Squire Patton Boggs

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has lost a five-lawyer team including global energy and infrastructure co-head Neil Upton to Squire Patton Boggs in the latest exits from its London office.

Upton joins the transatlantic firm with a team of four associates and two other staff. His practice focuses on advising utilities, banks and financial institutions on energy projects. Upton had worked on deals including financing several UK gas-fired power stations as well as power plant projects in Africa, Europe, China and the Middle East.

Squire has recently hired into its UK practice. In March, the firm added Andrew Herring into its real estate practice from DWF to its London office and last year hired James Duckworth as a construction partner in Sheffield from Nabarro. The firm also notably added to its energy disputes practice with the hire of Ben Holland from CMS Cameron McKenna in 2014.

Squire London managing partner Robert Weekes (pictured) said: ‘Neil fits so well with our teams here and globally. His appointment is a continuation of our strategic hiring in London, joining up practices and industry groups more closely and creating stronger links between international offices.’

The firm is currently approaching a leadership election after long-term EUME managing partner Peter Crossley confirmed he was stepping down from his leadership role after 12 years while remaining at the firm.

KWM has seen a number of partner exits in the last 12 months, most recently seeing four big billing City partners confirm their departures.

Last week, private equity partner Michael Halford, former managing partner Rob Day, corporate finance partner Andrew Wingfield and Jonathan Pittal all resigned from the firm.

The Asian legal giant has looked to shore up its European business after the string of high-profile exits. However, the legacy SJ Berwin practice was forced to halt a planned recapitalisation in the wake of the resignations.

The firm recently also replaced its senior leadership for EUME, electing Frankfurt-based Michael Cziesla as senior partner and Tim Bednall as managing partner.

matthew.field@legalease.co.uk

Read more on Squire Patton Boggs in: ‘We have enough of a say’: Squire’s Peter Crossley on retirement, leadership and the US

Legal Business

Contenders step forward as race for Squires European head begins

Contenders step forward as race for Squires European head begins

Longstanding leader Crossley set to retire at year end

Frontrunners have emerged in the contest to become the new Europe and Middle East managing partner at Squire Patton Boggs, after longstanding leader Peter Crossley confirmed his retirement in September.

Two senior partners have been touted internally and externally as favourites for the role: London managing partner Robert Weekes and EMEA global corporate chair Jane Haxby.

Legal Business

Revolving doors: Dechert, Mishcon and Squires strengthen the ranks

Revolving doors: Dechert, Mishcon and Squires strengthen the ranks

Following the post-summer hiring spree, the latter half of September only brought single lateral hires in criminal, corporate, tax and intellectual property (IP).

Mishcon de Reya’s business crime group announced this week the appointment of the Grillo sisters’ defence lawyer Richard Cannon. With effect from 5 October, Cannon will be the seventh lawyer in the two-partner business crime group established in 2014.

Cannon joins Mishcon de Reya from boutique criminal law firm Janes Solicitors, where he was a partner for 16 years focusing on defence of serious and complex fraud.

Commenting on his appointment, group head Alison Levitt QC said that ‘Richard brings to the firm a wealth of experience and expertise in criminal defence litigation at the top level’.

On the corporate side, Squire Patton Boggs also continues the European expansion of its global practice by confirming Kashif Siddiqui as its new partner in the London office. Joining from Trowers & Hamlins, Siddiqui focuses on cross-border M&A, disposals, joint ventures and reorganisations. Commenting on Siddiqui’s appointment, EMEA chair of the global corporate practice Jane Haxby said the hire is in line with the firm’s international focus and expansion of their UK practice. Siddiqui’s appointment follows last month’s hire of Bart Vanderstraete as partner in the Brussels office. Earlier this month Squires announced it would hold elections by the end of the year as its long-standing leader, Europe and Middle East managing partner leader Peter Crossley, steps down.

Meanwhile, Dechert added Sabina Comis to its benches as tax partner in the firm’s Paris office. Joining from Mayer Brown, part of Comis’ role will be focusing on advising French and international companies on tax structuring and dispute resolution. Dechert international and domestic tax group chair Daniel Dunn said Comis has an ‘impressive track record’ whilst head of tax in France. Last month the firm announced a ramp-up of its London office with the hire of long-serving DLA Piper financial services global co-chair Philip Butler.

georgiana.tudor@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Squires to hold leadership election as European managing partner Crossley prepares to step down

Squires to hold leadership election as European managing partner Crossley prepares to step down

A leadership battle at Squire Patton Boggs will take place as long-standing leader Peter Crossley has confirmed he will step down as Europe and Middle East managing partner at the end of this year.

Crossley (pictured) will retire from his leadership role when his term ends but remain at the firm, with an election for the managing partner role to take place in the coming weeks.

First elected as Hammonds managing partner in 2004, Crossley is noted for having guided the legacy firm through its merger with US practice Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in 2011 and helped steer the firm through its merger with Washington DC lobbying shop Patton Boggs in 2014 creating a 1,500 lawyer firm.

A Squires spokesperson said: ‘Earlier this year, Peter Crossley informed the firm’s partnership that he has decided to step down at the end of the year as the firm’s managing partner for EMEA after 12 years in the role. His replacement will be chosen over the course of the next couple of months.’

Under Crossley’s watch, Squires has moved into the top 40 of the Global 100 with a turnover of $929.1m and a presence across the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

One Squires partner told Legal Business: ‘Peter is very highly appreciated here. He has always been seen as a warm and friendly leader.’

It is understood two senior partners have been touted as potential favourites for the top job: London managing partner Robert Weekes and EMEA global corporate chair Jane Haxby. Hustings have not yet taken place and the firm would not comment on the election process.

Manchester-based Haxby has spent 23 years at the firm and chairs the global corporate group and was previously the Manchester managing partner between 2010 and 2013.

London managing partner Weekes is a fraud lawyer specialising in banks and financial institutions. He has led the London office since 2008 and joined legacy Hammonds in 2001.

Crossley’s role includes the firm’s UK offices, its presence in ten European markets and four offices in the Middle East.

matthew.field@legalease.co.uk

For the full interview with Crossley from earlier this year, see ”We have enough of a say’: Squire’s Peter Crossley on retirement, leadership and the US’

Read Peter Crossley’s Life During Law here.