Legal Business

Old and new faces: Squire Sanders re-elects UK and US heads while Dentons appoints new chief executive

Old and new faces: Squire Sanders re-elects UK and US heads while Dentons appoints new chief executive

Squire Sanders has re-appointed Peter Crossley and Stephen Mahon to their respective European and firm-wide managing partner roles in a week that has also seen Dentons elect its Warsaw managing partner, Tomasz Dabrowski, as the new European chief executive seven months after its tripartite merger went live.

For Squire Sanders, the re-election of Crossley and Mahon, which were appointed by the firm’s UK and US LLP management committees, will see the duo undertake a further three-year term beginning 1 January 2014.

Having served two terms as legacy Hammonds’ managing partner, Crossley took up the role of European managing partner when the firm merged with US firm Squire Sanders & Dempsey in January 2011.

Prior to becoming managing partner in New York, M&A specialist Mahon has held a number of leadership positions at the top 100 US firm, including acting as a member of its management committee from 2004 to 2008, serving as global business practice leader, and acting as chair of the firm’s private equity practice group.

Meanwhile, Dentons’ new European chief Dabrowski is currently the firm’s co-chair of European corporate, head of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Warsaw managing partner. He succeeds outgoing head and former global managing partner of legacy firm Salans, Dariusz Olezczuk, whose term ends on 31 December.

Having joined legacy Salans in 1992, Oleszczuk was previously global managing partner of the now merged firm – a role he was elected to for three consecutive terms by the firm’s partnership since 2005 – prior to becoming the European chief executive of Dentons in March 2013, a firm statement said today (31 October).

Since the tripartite merger of SNR Denton, Salans and Fraser Milner Casgrain went live in March, the new entity has faced the occasional reverse, particularly within the European region where a 10-lawyer team led by high profile partner Joel Benjamin quit for CEE practice Kinstellar in September.

However, the firm’s expansion plans continue regardless, as more recently evidenced in the US, as it confirmed this week (30 October) that its proposed tie up with McKenna Long & Aldridge is set to go to a vote in November.

Legal Business

Revolving Doors: Ashurst makes key energy hire in New York as Gibson Dunn and Squire Sanders expand in London

Revolving Doors: Ashurst makes key energy hire in New York as Gibson Dunn and Squire Sanders expand in London

Ashurst this week announced the hire of Allen & Overy (A&O) energy partner Charles Williams in a bid to boost its New York energy, resources and infrastructure practice.

The move strengthens the firm’s position within the US public-private partnership (PPP) space – dubbed P3 in the US – an area Williams focussed on at A&O. He brings with him experience of representing the public sector, sponsors and lenders within the transportation sector and advising on renewables projects in the North, Central and South America.

Head of Ashurst’s energy, resources and infrastructure team in the Americas, Jason Radford, said: ‘Combining Ashurst’s credentials as a leading international firm in the P3 and renewables field with our US public finance capability provides us with a very strong platform for our US practice. Charles has an excellent reputation as a leading practitioner in this market and his appointment is a further significant boost to our offering.

‘The US has the potential to become one of the world’s largest PPP and renewables markets and we are confident that the addition of Charles to our team will allow us to capitalise on the significant opportunities in these sectors.’

Radford transferred to New York in September 2011 to build a platform with the firm’s US partners within the transport sector. Provided the US PPP market continues to grow as well as Ashurst’s market share, Radford aims to expand the team further over the next year to broaden its client offering.

Williams added: ‘To date the US P3 market has been dominated by transportation projects but increasingly we are seeing other sectors develop, including water/waste water and social infrastructure.’

Elsewhere, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has hired international arbitration partner Penny Madden in London. Madden has been a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom’s in London since 2007, prior to which she practiced at Clifford Chance and Shearman & Sterling.

Gibson Dunn’s senior partner in the dispute resolution group, Philip Rocher, said: ‘In addition to her international arbitration practice, Penny has significant regulatory and investigations experience. These areas have been a significant driver of our recent growth, and Penny will add to our ability to meet our clients’ needs.’

In a further high profile London move, Addleshaw Goddard’s head of structured finance Mark Thomas has joined Squire Sanders’ financial services practice group (FSPG) in London. The hire is the fifth in a series of senior appointments to Squires growing financial services practice in the past 10 months.

Jim Barresi, partner and global leader of the FSPG said: ‘Mark’s skills and experience are increasingly important to minimizing the cost of capital in the wake of regulatory reform. His expertise complements our existing practice in asset-based lending and asset finance, capital markets and banking regulation and will expand our ability to provide in Europe some of the services we provide clients in the US.’

Legal Business

Revolving Doors: Squire Sanders, Pinsent Masons and Bird & Bird boost corporate and finance capability

Revolving Doors: Squire Sanders, Pinsent Masons and Bird & Bird boost corporate and finance capability

Squire Sanders has today announced the hire of US Dorsey & Whitney City-based corporate finance partner Matthew Doughty in a week that has also seen Pinsent Masons take on a new head of banking in Birmingham and Bird & Bird boost its finance capability in Frankfurt.

Doughty, who specializes in equity capital markets (ECM) with experience of the New York, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and London Stock Exchanges, including AIM, was formerly a partner at Addleshaw Goddard’s City office, from where he joined Squire Sanders in June 2009.

The appointments mark a run of hires for the London office of the top 50 Global 100 firm, after the double hire in December of Berwin Leighton Paisner project finance partner Philippa Chadwick and asset-based lending partner Paula Laird from Wragge & Co.

Elsewhere, David Doogan (pictured) joined Pinsents in May from top-tier public sector firm SGH Martineau, where he held the same role. The move will further bolster the UK top 20 firm’s financial institutions and human capital group, which now has around 260 lawyers following a number of recent hires, including banking and restructuring specialist Claire Massie in Glasgow, restructuring and insolvency partner Richard Tripp in Leeds and national head of banking litigation Michael Isaacs in London.

Head of financial institutions at Pinsent Masons, John Cleland, said: ‘Birmingham remains an important hub for several prominent financial institutions for whom we act around the UK. His experience ties in with all of the key areas of banking and restructuring work which we carry out in Birmingham and adds to our comprehensive coverage around the UK.’

Over on the continent, meanwhile, Bird & Bird has appointed international banking and finance partner Bernhard Gemmel, who will officially move across from Dentons’ Frankfurt office on 1 July.

Gemmel, who is also qualified under French law and advises clients on cross-border activities in both Germany and France, was previously a partner at Wall Street-based Shearman & Sterling and German firm Beiten Burkhardt.

Legal Business

Firms set sights on Asia investment into Middle East

Squire Sanders expanded both its Middle East and South Korea operations in October, as Latham & Watkins reported a surge in investment activity between Asia, most notably China, and the Gulf states.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton also announced in October that it will open an office in Seoul, following approval from the Korean regulatory authorities. This follows the opening of the firm’s office in Abu Dhabi in September. Squire Sanders expanded its Middle East practice through the acquisition of El-Khoury & Partners’ Middle East and North Africa (MENA) business, which formerly operated in Saudi Arabia as EK Partners & Al-Enezee.