Revolving Doors: Kennedys Expands Down Under, While WFW Boosts Italian Training

In another hectic week of side-by-side partner recruiting, Kennedys opened a new office in Perth via a team hire, while a number of other companies have strengthened their global banks.

The firm opened its 43rd global office with the hiring of an Australian insurance team of nine attorneys from rival Clyde & Co. Jonathan Wyatt is the only partner who leads the team and specializes in marine, property, financial and liability insurance.

Matt Andrews, Kennedys partner in Australia, said, ‘Kennedys is committed to delivering the best features locally wherever our customers need it. The appointment of a partner of Jonathan’s caliber and his team delivers on that promise and ensures that our clients have seamless access to Kennedys’ expertise.

Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has made significant European expansion and opened a law firm in Rome by partnering with local specialist Giuseppe Bulgarini d’Elci. Bulgarini d’Elci comes from the Italian law firm Carnelutti, where he worked as Head of Labor Law, as part of a team with a lawyer, an employee and a trainee.

Bulgarini d’Elci advises clients on corporate restructuring procedures, including employee retraining, layoffs, negotiating complex collective agreements and business transfer processes.

The company has expanded its Bangkok office with the hiring of corporate and trading partner Lui Ratprasatporn, who comes from the Thai company Tilleke and Gibbins. Ratprasatporn advises national and international clients on investments in Thailand and specializes in areas such as M&A, ownership structures and relevant regulations. She is accompanied by a senior associate and an associate.

Steven Burkill, Head of WFW’s Bangkok Office, said: ‘Lui and her team’s excellent reputation and expertise will not only add to our business offering in Thailand, but also WFW’s reputation as the premier legal advisor throughout the Asia Pacific region Strengthen space. ‘

K&L Gates ran a concerted international recruitment campaign this week and hired a partner in Paris and Shanghai. Tax partner Roberta Chang was appointed to the Shanghai office by Hogan Lovells, where she was head of the Chinese tax group. She regularly advises multinational companies on cross-border tax issues on acquisitions and joint ventures, restructurings, financings and liquidations.

In Paris, the company welcomed real estate partner Denis Charles, who was leaving Pinsent Masons’ French practice. Charles arrives alongside an employee and focuses on real estate transactions across a range of industries including infrastructure, logistics, and hospitality.

Wayne Smith, co-head of K&L Gates ‘real estate practice, said: “The international nature of Denis’ practice fits in well with our cross-border skills and client mix and we are delighted to have him join us.”

Pinsents made up for the loss of a partner in Paris by hiring a business partner in Amsterdam. Alexander Spoor, who joins from Baker McKenzie, is an experienced partner with a particular niche in technology and life sciences. He usually advises Dutch and foreign companies on both domestic and cross-border transactions and joint ventures.

Wouter Seinen, Pinsents Office Manager in Amsterdam, said: ‘The company aims to develop a leading European offering for technology, diversified industrial, life science and healthcare companies. The Netherlands is a critical business location and vital for us to achieve our goals. Business skills will play an important role in developing and achieving our goals and we are confident that Alexander will be an asset to the team. ‘

In London, Simmons & Simmons has hired technology and venture capital partner Frances Doherty, who comes from Dorsey & Whitney. In her previous position, Doherty expanded her practice by 20 years to focus on emerging, high-growth companies in the fintech and healthtech industries.

Arthur Stewart, Head of Simmons UK Group of Companies, said: ‘Frances’ Hire is an exciting addition to our TMT industry offering in corporate practice and she will also work closely with our digital business team. Not only will her strength in terms of growth and venture capital benefit our UK team, but it will also present her with an exciting opportunity to partner with our growing international corporate practice, which hired five partners in 2021. ‘

Keystone Law has strengthened its qualifications in London aviation with the appointment of Stewart’s partner James Healy-Pratt. Healy-Pratt is a seasoned expert in solving high profile aircraft accidents around the world and has extensive experience in the aviation insurance market. He is also an accredited mediator and arbitrator.

Healy-Pratt explained the benefits of joining Keystone: ‘Keystone’s innovative model allows me to focus on providing tailored support and advice to my customers while maintaining an excellent level of service. I look forward to working with other experienced lawyers and expanding my practice in the firm. ‘

Nigel Rawding QC, an experienced arbitration partner of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, left the company after nearly 40 years to join Twenty Essex as a full-time arbitrator.

Rawding QC commented, ‘I have known most of the Referee members at Twenty Essex for many years and have always valued their experience and understanding, especially when I appear in front of them! I have also had the great pleasure of working with lawyers from Chambers in the past on a number of commercial cases. Having worked with so many great colleagues at Freshfields over so many years, I am excited to join yet another highly talented and gracious group of experts in the field of international arbitration. ‘

Fieldfisher has created a new Head of Funds after hiring former Simmons & Simmons partner Dale Gabbert. Gabbert, who previously led Reed Smith’s Middle East and Africa fund practice, represents a variety of sponsors including boutiques and banks in setting up funds.

Gabbert stated that he will “significantly expand the private funds side” alongside Guy Usher, Fieldfisher’s financial and product partner. He added, “Fieldfisher is an exceptionally well run company and my customers are excited about what Fieldfisher can do for them in London and across its European network.”

It’s also been a busy week for London-based McCarthy Denning to hire two energy partners. First, the company in Paris appointed Michel Lequien, who comes from Ashurst’s French practice. Lequien specializes in energy projects in France as well as in Europe and Africa. In London, McCarthy Denning hired the partner Peter Wright of Squire Patton Boggs. Wright has more than 20 years of experience helping clients with domestic and international energy and infrastructure projects.

In Birmingham, Penningtons Manches Cooper has hired a Shakespeare Martineau double partner in the form of corporate specialists Adam McGiveron and Emma Bryant. McGiveron has a specific background in advising midsize companies on mergers, acquisitions and private equity finance, while Bryant focuses on assisting growth companies on a range of corporate matters.

Helen Drayton, Penningtons partner, commented, ‘Adam and Emma are both highly rated corporate lawyers and will be a great asset as we expand the practice to the Midlands. You have an excellent understanding of the opportunities and challenges that companies in the region face and a keen sense of the rhythm and flow of the local market. ‘

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