Revolving Doors: A&O enters La La Land with group rental, while DLA Piper lures the former Freshfields CFO

Allen & Overy has opened a US practice on the west coast and has taken over the project finance and renewable energy team from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in the US.

As a result, the team, led by partners Dan Sinaiko and John Marciano, will build a new presence for A&O in Los Angeles. The team also consists of partners Greg Lavigne, Matthew Nesburn, Andrea Wang Lucan and Sam Kamyans and “a large group of employees and consultants”.

In a bold letter of intent, Kent Rowey, partner in the company’s energy and infrastructure practice, said: ‘With this acquisition, A&O solidifies its status as a leading US and global renewable energy practice with the right expertise to help clients pursue the global Support Energy Transition, ”while the newly formed Marciano described the move as“ the most significant combination of law firms in the US renewable energy legal sector ”.

The opening can be seen as an attempt to make up for A & O’s high profile failure to achieve a transatlantic merger with West Coast King O’Melveny & Myers in 2019.

Elsewhere, DLA Piper has identified a respected successor to Martin Bartlam as head of international finance, projects and restructuring and has hired seasoned Freshfields partner David Trott. Trott has been a partner of the Magic Circle team since 1997 and led its global finance team between 2012 and 2016, primarily concerned with real estate finance, acquisition finance and treasury matters.

According to the DLA, Bartlam will work with Trott “to ensure a smooth change in leadership”. Olaf Schmidt, Managing Director of Practice Groups, said: “As the company evolves, David’s new perspectives, exceptional leadership experience and in-depth market knowledge perfectly complement our strategy for the finance, project and restructuring group.”

Meanwhile, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has named Boies Schiller Flexner and Herbert Smith Freehills’ former litigator, Dominic Roughton. The seasoned Roughton has a dual practice focusing on both international litigation and arbitration, particularly in the energy and mining sectors.

John Quinn, Founder of Quinn, commented, “His hiring greatly enhances our fast growing London office which is in significant growth mode after a stunning 2020.” The company announced a remarkable 27% increase in sales in London earlier this year.

Taylor Wessing has been in expansive form over the past week, hiring a real estate team from Greenberg Traurig and a trio of partners from Stephenson Harwood in London.

The real estate team is led by partner Michael Goldberg, who specializes in corporate finance, M&A and capital market work in the industry. He joins a team of three people.

The company has also expanded its life science and health practice with the addition of Andrew Edge, Karima Hudson and Andrew McLean from Stephenson Harwood. All three are company specialists, with Edge and Hudson having extensive M&A experience in the life sciences and healthcare sectors.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has continued its unusually brisk start to 2021 with the hiring of Geoffrey Bailhache, former Managing Director and General Counsel of the EMEA business of private equity firm Blackstone, as a partner in London.

Before his internal activity, Bailhache worked for several years in private practice at Weil, Gotshal & Manges and SJ Berwin and advised on various private equity and corporate matters. Bailhache said, “After many years working on transactions with Simpson Thacher’s attorneys, I look forward to joining this talented group for the next chapter of my career.”

This week Simpson Thacher also hired former private fund partner James Board of Kirkland & Ellis in his London office. The board of directors, described by Simpson Thacher’s head of private funds, Michael Wolitzer, as a “rising star in the private fund industry” primarily advises clients on the creation and operation of loan funds.

Latham & Watkins undertook a significant reorganization in London with the appointment of Bruce Bell, who was previously a partner at Linklaters for over 20 years. Bell primarily advises companies, sponsors and financial institutions on complex financing, restructuring and insolvency issues.

Stephen Kensell, Managing Partner of Latham’s London office, said: “Bruce is an exceptional practitioner with an excellent reputation in the marketplace. His expertise and product knowledge make him an excellent strategic addition to Latham’s practice in London and around the world.”

After going public in 2019, wealth management consultancy and alternative business structure MJ Hudson got a key assignment with former Skadden partner Stephen Sims. Sims joins MJ Hudson’s legal offer to be a partner in his fund practice.

Andrew Mills, co-managing partner of MJ Hudson’s legal department, described him as a “leading light” adding that the ability to attract Sims to the company “is a testament to the unique environment at MJ Hudson.”

In Europe, Dentons has strengthened its banking and finance team in Warsaw by hiring Mark Segall as a partner at CMS, where he led the banking practice in Central and Eastern Europe. Segall has over 20 years of experience advising a range of financial products including acquisition and leveraged finance, structured commodity finance and project finance.

Meanwhile, K&L Gates has enhanced its energy, infrastructure and resource practices with the hiring of former Squire Patton Boggs partner Ben Holland in its London office. Holland is an energy dispute partner with experience in international arbitration.

Holland said his arrival connects me and my clients with world class lawyers in key energy and resource areas at a time when many global energy markets are in a state of imbalance and change and global teams of lawyers are needed to help them move forward.’

Finally, with the appointment of Jacques Jacobs as a partner in its Sydney office, Clyde & Co has signed a major insurance contract in Australia. Jacobs, who comes from Norton Rose Fulbright, specializes in helping both domestic and international insurers with complex disputes and obsolescence issues.

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