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Partner moves: May 2010

01 Jun 2010

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Global management moves


The biggest headline-grabbing move this month saw Kirkland & Ellis hire private-equity partners Gavin Gordon and fellow partner David Arnold from Ashurst in London. The move, a rare lateral hire for Kirkland, will significantly boost the capacity of the London team, which already boasts partners Jim Learner and Graham White. 

The move is yet another departure from Ashurst's corporate group, which has lost four partners since October 2009. It is also a sign of the ever-improving market position of US firms in the private-equity area in London - a presence which commentators say will continue to expand over the next few years.

Watson Farley & Williams has been the busiest firm in London this month completing the hires of energy partner Charles July from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and competition specialist Emanuela Lecchi from Charles Russell. The firm also hired finance partner David Cooke from McClay Murray & Spens. Charles July is arguably the highest profile move, having led Freshfields' launch in Abu Dhabi in 2008 and had previously headed the Singapore office.

Across at Allen & Overy there are departures and arrivals in different departments. The corporate energy team has been given a major boost with the arrival of two partners from Herbert Smith in the forms of John Geraghty and Paul Griffin. However the finance team sees its ranks reduced as Chris Arnold moves to US firm Mayer Brown .

White & Case have taken steps this month to rebuild its banking and capital markets practice in the City with the hire of two partners from Gide Loyrette Nouel . Both banking partner Christopher Czarnocki and debt capital markets specialist Michael Doran move across from the French firm.

Squire Sanders & Dempsey’s City practice has also been a hive of activity.  Both restructuring partner Andrew Visintin and corporate specialist Philip Newhouse leave to join the London office of McGuireWoods. However the firm has not stood still, taking restructuring specialist Graeme Levy from Olswang .

Another firm boosting its banking and finance offering is Eversheds which has hired asset finance partner Steven Geerling and capital markets specialist Paul-Michael Rebus. Geerling had previously worked at Hammonds while Rebus joins from McDermott Will & Emery, where he was head of the structured finance and securitisation group.

In France the project finance market has been shaken up considerably with Willkie Farr & Gallagher taking a nine-lawyer team from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Public law specialist Thierry Laloum joins alongside project finance partner Amir Jahanguiri. Also moving across is counsel Vincent Brenot who becomes a partner. The US firm is not traditionally known for its work in this area and the market will be waiting to see how the team develops.

In Moscow Ilya Ryblakin becomes the first partner in the EMEA region to leave the newly-merged Hogan Lovells. The corporate specialist moves to the growing office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in the Russian capital. There has also been corporate movement at Clifford Chance, with M&A partner Andrei Dontsov moving to the Moscow office of White & Case.

In the Middle East the big mover is Trowers & Hamlins. The firm has announced the opening of a new Jeddah office with Julien Sweeting moving from Riyadh to head the operation. In Dubai meanwhile the firm has hired two new projects partners. Stewart Simpson moves from Simmons & Simmons where he was a managing associate, while Peter Bowring has been flown in from King & Spalding’s London office where he was an of counsel.

The South African market was also active, with this month seeing three departures from Deneys Reitz. Banking and finance partners Casper van Heerden and Anthony Colegrave shifted over to Bowman Gilfillan, while Lesley Morphet departed to join Webber Wenzel's competition team.

Name From Location Practice Area To Location
Chris Arnold Allen & Overy London Derivatives Mayer Brown London
Gavin Gordon Ashurst London Private equity Kirkland & Ellis London
David Arnold Ashurst London Private equity Kirkland & Ellis London
Joos Hellert Burger King (in-house) Munich Corporate Eversheds Munich
Emanuela Lecchi Charles Russell London Competition/regulatory Watson Farley & Williams London
Andrei Dontsov Clifford Chance Moscow M&A White & Case Moscow
Casper van Heerden
Deneys Reitz
Banking & debt capital markets
Bowman Gilfillan
Lesley Morphet
Deneys Reitz
Webber Wentzel
Anthony Colegrave Deneys Reitz Johannesburg Banking & finance Bowman Gilfillan Johannesburg
Charles July Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer London Energy Watson Farley & Williams London
Thierry Laloum Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Paris Public law Willkie Farr & Gallagher Paris
Vincent Brenot Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Paris Project finance Willkie Farr & Gallagher Paris
Christopher Czarnocki Gide Loyrette Nouel London Banking White & Case London
Jeremie Duhamel Gide Loyrette Nouel Paris Banking Duhamel Blimbaum Paris
Michael Doran Gide Loyrette Nouel London Debt capital markets White & Case London
Gerard Moussault Greenberg Traurig The Hague Corporate & finance Bird & Bird The Hague
David Grant Halliwells London Restructuring & insolvency Salans London
John Geraghty Herbert Smith London Corporate/energy Allen & Overy London
Paul Griffin Herbert Smith London Corporate/energy Allen & Overy London
Ilya Rybalkin Hogan Lovells Moscow Corporate Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Moscow
Lars Kjølbye Howrey Brussels Competition Covington & Burling Brussels
Peter Bowring King & Spalding (C) London Projects Trowers & Hamlins Dubai
David Cooke Maclay Murray & Spens London Finance Watson Farley & Williams London
Paul-Michael Rebus McDermott Will & Emery London Capital markets Eversheds London
Andrei Liakhov Norton Rose London
Integrities Kiev
Esther Felton Norton Rose London Insurance QBE (in-house) London
Robert Neruda Office for the Protection of Competition Prague Competition Havel & Holásek Prague
Graeme Levy Olswang London Restructuring & insolvency Squire Sanders & Dempsey London
Seamas Gray Olswang London Restructuring Pinsent Masons London
Stewart Simpson Simmons & Simmons (MA) Dubai Projects Trowers & Hamlins Dubai
Alexander Rinne SJ Berwin Munich Antitrust Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy Munich
Andrew Visintin Squire Sanders & Dempsey
London Restructuring McGuireWoods London
Philip Newhouse Squire Sanders & Dempsey
London Corporate McGuireWoods London
Paul Burke Taylor Wessing London Corporate Maples Teesdale London
Julien Sweeting Trowers & Hamlins Jeddah M&A Trowers & Hamlins Riyadh
Jeremy Blimbaum Viguie Schmidt Paris Banking & finance Duhamel Blimbaum Paris
Emma Menzies White & Case (C) London Banking Greenberg Traurig Maher London
Suyong Kim WilmerHale London Antitrust Hogan Lovells London
Steven Geerlings - London Asset-backed lending Eversheds London
MA - Managing associate
C - Counsel


As domestic firms become more sophisticated to keep up with the rapid pace of development in the Chinese market, and clients eschew the high fees and costs of international firms, the former are looking to improve their offering and capture a greater portion of any middle ground that exists between them and the internationals. A key strategy is to broaden their services by bringing both strong local and international capabilities to the table, an attractive platform for clients.

The recent hiring trend has been ignited by the reality that domestic firms are increasingly taking the leading roles in cross-border transactions, and as such are in need of talent that has significant international deal exposure, experience and dealings with foreign clients.

There is ample room for growth for domestic firms (which are blessed with greater market access than international rivals), and now they have realised the edge they can acquire by improving their management and partner quality.

In the coming months, there will be two interesting developments to watch out for in the China legal space: Which Chinese firm will be the next to poach an international partner, and how the foreign firms will react to this new found hunger by local players for their talent.

The recent lateral hires from international firms by leading domestic outfits Allbright, Jun He, King & Wood, Fangda Partners and Global Law Office (it welcomed two new partners in March from the Beijing offices of Paul Hastings and Shearman & Sterling) have raised eyebrows and triggered talk of the shifting Chinese legal market. 

The trend continued in May, with Lovells’ Beijing ex-managing partner Robert Lewis moving to Allbright Law Offices, while Fred Chang left in April to set up his own shop, FenXun Partners, in Beijing with several other leading partners from domestic firms. Chang’s co-founding partners include Wang Yingzhe from Jingtian & Gongcheng and King & Wood’s Yang Xusheng. 

King & Wood countered this month with the key hire of former Clifford Chance Beijing head Rupert Li as its new international managing partner. Capital markets specialist Li will oversee the Chinese firm’s international business and split his time between its Hong Kong and Beijing offices.

Elsewhere, Hogan & Hartson and Lovells’ merger on May 1 has led to a number of partner moves in Asia this month.

The former managing partners of Hogan & Hartson’s Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai offices have found new homes. TMT and corporate specialist Roger Peng has gone to Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker in Beijing, while corporate partner Gordon Ng has moved to O’Melveny Myers in Hong Kong. Peng and Ng were the former managing partners of Hogan & Hartson Beijing and Hong Kong respectively.

Ex- Hogan Shanghai managing partner Arthur Mok has moved to Ropes & Gray’s Washington, DC office in advance of the firm’s planned opening of a Shanghai office later this year. Another former Hogan & Hartson Beijing colleague, counsel Victor Yu, has moved to the Shenzhen office of Fangda Partners. Yu’s practice focuses on private equity, M&A and venture capital.  

In Shanghai, corporate lawyer Lynn Yang bid farewell to Allen & Overy and moved over to fortify the ranks at Norton Rose, while project finance specialist Kee Ming Chi moved from Dewey & LeBoeuf to O’Melveny & Myers in Hong Kong.

In Singapore, Paul Hastings lost its capital markets counsel Andrew Hutton to O’Melveny & Myers , while Clifford Chance saw the defection of its Singapore capital markets head Munish Nagpal to Citigroup Global Markets India as its new head of legal.  

The recent trend of low-staffed Hong Kong offices of international firms hiring from the more established players continued, with Weil Gotshal & Manges plucking funds specialist John Fadley from Clifford Chance and Troutman Sanders investing in its securities team by hiring Joe Sevack from Paul Hastings.

Name From Location Practice Area To Location
Rupert Li Clifford Chance Beijing Corporate King & Wood Beijing/Hong Kong
Lynn Yang Allen & Overy Shanghai Corporate Norton Rose Shanghai
Roger Peng Hogan & Hartson Beijing M&A/Private Equity Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker Beijing
Gordon Ng Hogan & Hartson Hong Kong Corporate O'Melveny & Myers Hong Kong
Arthur Mok Hogan & Hartson Shanghai M&A/Private Equity Ropes & Gray Shanghai/Washington
Victor Yu Hogan & Hartson Beijing Private Equity Fangda Partners Shenzhen
Munish Nagpal Clifford Chance Singapore Capital Markets Citigroup Global Markets India
Joe Sevack Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker Hong Kong Securities & Corporate Governance Troutman Sanders Hong Kong
John Fadley Clifford Chance Hong Kong Investment Funds Weil Gotshal & Manges Hong Kong
Fred Chang Lovells Beijing Banking FenXun Partners Beijing
Wang Yingzhe Jingtian & Gongcheng Beijing Corporate FenXun Partners Beijing
Yang Xusheng King & Wood Beijing Securitisation FenXun Partners Beijing
Lawrence (Linjun) Guo Broad & Bright Beijing Corporate Jade & Fountain PRC Lawyers Beijing
Andrew Hutton Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker Hong Kong Corporate Finance O'Melveny & Myers Singapore
Kee Ming Chi Dewey & LeBoeuf Hong Kong Project development & Real Estate O'Melveny & Myers Hong Kong


Corporate firms across the US and Canada decided to take a wholesale approach to new partner hires during the month of May. Hunton & Williams, Foley & Lardner, and Davis were part of a group of firms who made advantageous gains by bringing in groups of three or more partners this month. These groups ranged in practice areas from project finance to insurance to general corporate expertise.

Most recently, Hunton & Williams was able to lure away a five-partner energy team from Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker that included Raj Pande, Ellis Butler, John Hawkins, Jeff Schroeder, and Larry Skinner. The group will be divided between Hunton’s New York and Washington, DC, office, with John Hawkins and Jeff Schroeder assuming co-leadership over the firm’s Energy Project Finance group.

Foley & Lardner’s flagship Chicago office made similar gains in its insurance practice. Gail Goering, Eric Haab, Neal Moglin, Peter Steffen, and Kay Wilde have made the move across town to Foley from Hogan Lovells . The move comes on the heels of the recently enacted merger between Hogan & Hartson and Lovells on May 1, which led to the subsequent closure of Hogan’s Chicago office.

Also joining the firm’s Chicago office are two regulatory lawyers from Chico & Nunes. Of counsel Theodore Eidukas and partner Edward Hurley transferred to Foley & Lardner early in the month, joining the firm’s 90-lawyer energy group. Both lawyers offer experience in public utility regulation, particularly Hurley, who is a former chairman and administrative law judge for the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Beyond Chicago, Foley also added to its corporate group through the addition of John Klusaritz. Specialising in M&A, Klusaritz joins Foley’s Washington, DC, office from Bingham McCutchen.

As usual, Calgary and Toronto provided the backdrops for the highest profile partner moves within Canadian firms. Davis took a slightly different approach to strengthening its corporate practice from its US counterparts. Instead of focusing on one firm to draw talent from, Davis decided to take from three competitors: Fraser Milner Casgrain, Gowling Lafleur Henderson and Heenan Blaikie.

Laura Safran and Catherine Pawluch offer their new firm specific expertise in transportation and aviation law. Safran is the former vice president of law for Canadian Airlines International while Pawluch is a former president of the American and Canadian Transport Lawyers’ Associations. Safran will join Davis’ Calgary office with another corporate addition, Peter Soby; Pawluch moves to Davis’ Toronto office.

Baker & McKenzie also strengthened its roster of Canadian talent in May, bringing in two new corporate partners into its Toronto office. Denis Chamberland and Frank DeLuca made the move from Aird & Berlis and McCarthy Tétrault respectively. Chamberland’s practice focuses on infrastructure and regulatory compliance matters, with DeLuca specialising in M&A and corporate finance. 

Name From Location Practice area To Location
Aloisio Carneiro da Cunha Menegazzo Emerenciano Baggio e Associados Advogados Campinas/São Paulo Corporate TozziniFreire Campinas
Raj Pande Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker New York Project Finance Hunton & Williams New York
John Hawkins Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker New York Project Finance Hunton & Williams New York
Ellis Butler Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker Washington, DC Project Finance Hunton & Williams Washington, DC
Jeff Schroeder Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker Washington, DC Project Finance Hunton & Williams Washington, DC
Larry Skinner Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker Washington, DC Project Finance Hunton & Williams Washington, DC
Gail Goering Hogan Lovells Chicago Insurance Foley & Lardner Chicago
Eric Haab Hogan Lovells Chicago Insurance Foley & Lardner Chicago
Neal Moglin Hogan Lovells Chicago Insurance Foley & Lardner Chicago
Kay Wilde Hogan Lovells Chicago Insurance Foley & Lardner Chicago
Peter Steffen Hogan Lovells Chicago Insurance Foley & Lardner Chicago
Edward Hurley Chico & Nunes Chicago Energy/Regulatory Foley & Lardner Chicago
Theodore Eidukas Chico & Nunes Chicago Energy/Regulatory Foley & Lardner Washington, DC
John Klusaritz Bingham McCutchen Washington, DC M&A Foley & Lardner Washington, DC
Sharon DiPaolo Pepper Hamilton Pittsburgh Real Estate Reed Smith Pittsburgh
Jeffrey Mills Pepper Hamilton Pittsburgh Real Estate Reed Smith Pittsburgh
Alan Sable Pepper Hamilton Calgary Real Estate Reed Smith Pittsburgh
Laura Safran Fraser Milner Casgrain Calgary Corporate/Transporation Davis Calgary
Peter Soby Heenan Blaikie Calgary Corporate Davis Calgary
Catherine Pawluch Gowling Lafleur Henderson Toronto Corporate/Transportation Davis Toronto
Denis Chamberland Aird & Berlis Toronto Corporate Baker & McKenzie Toronto
Frank DeLuca McCarthy Tétrault Toronto Corporate Baker & McKenzie Toronto


On the management side in EMEA Linklaters litigation partner Arnaud de La Cotardiere has taken over as the firm's global Head of Commercial, while in London Emma Slatter has been appointed general counsel for the UK and Western Europe at Deutsche Bank .

In Asia, Guy Locke and Carol Hall now boast new titles since offshore firm Walkers re-tooled its management structure. Locke is its new Head of Asia and Hall replaces Hugh O’Loughlin as the Hong Kong managing partner. O’Loughlin will leave Hong Kong in the summer to head up the firm’s Jersey office.

Name Firm/Company Location Practice Area New position Replacing Effective
Julie Jacobs AOL - - General counsel - 14/05/2010
Emma Slatter Deutsche Bank London - General counsel UK and Western Europe Simon Dodds 11/05/2010
Arnaud de La Cotardiere Linklaters Paris Litigation Head of commercial John Turnbull 12/05/2010
Esther Felton QBE London - Head of legal team (Europe) Adrian Williams 25/05/2010
Bartney Reynolds Shearman & Sterling London Regulatory Policy board member Anthony Ward 19/05/2010
Rupert Li King & Wood Beijing/Hong Kong Corporate International Managing Partner

Guy Locke Walkers Hong Kong Offshore insolvency & restructuring Head of Asia

Carol Hall Walkers Hong Kong Offsore investment funds Managing Partner of Hong Kong

Marc Harvey Linklaters Hong Kong Litigation Head of Global Litigation


Partner and management moves archive:

April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009

Partner moves six-month review (October 2009 - March 2010):

United Kingdom
Hong Kong and China
United States