Revolving doors: Knights acquires Surrey as Freshfields strengthens its offering in Silicon Valley

Ever expansive publicly traded company Knights made its last major acquisition through the acquisition of Mundays, based in Surrey, valued at £ 5.3 million.

With the purchase, Mundays’ 34 fee recipients, including six partners led by Weybridge-based managing partner and head of company Neale Andrews, will join Knights and bring key strengths in corporate, real estate and retail law.

Chief Executive David Beech said Mundays will have “a strong cultural fit” with Knights, adding that the acquisition “further strengthens our position in the South East and provides a strong platform to recruit talented lawyers who are no longer in London want to commute. ‘Knights entered the Southeast market by adopting the ASB Act in March 2020 valued at £ 8.5m.

Elsewhere, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has strengthened its young Silicon Valley office by hiring M&A partner Joseph Halloum from Kirkland & Ellis. Halloum is a seasoned private equity advisor who also helps get clients public through IPOs and other mechanisms.

John Fisher, Freshfields director of technology and life science M&A, said: ‘Joseph has worked on some of the most complex and market-defining M&A deals in technology. It will be a great resource for our customers. ‘

KPMG has strengthened its legal presence in the UK by hiring Justine Sacarello, formerly Head of Legal and Regulatory Changes at Lloyds Banking Group. In her new role at KPMG, Sacarello will act as regulatory attorney, focusing on banks addressing the growing ESG agenda, the Libor transition and other regulatory issues.

Nick Roome, head of KMPG law, said Sacarello had been drawn to KPMG’s “dynamic multidisciplinary legal practice” in which it could “provide a single point of contact for businesses”.

Ashurst has also secured the services of an experienced financial regulator in London, hiring Etay Katz from Allen & Overy. Katz, an established personality in the market, advises clients on both national and international regulatory systems as well as corporate transactions on the highly regulated financial services market.

Jake Green, global co-head of Ashurst’s financial regulatory practice, commented: ‘Our practice is exceptionally well positioned to advise clients in the increasingly complex regulatory landscape as we move beyond Brexit and the pace of digital transformation continues to accelerate. Etay will play a crucial role in this and we are delighted to have him join the company. ‘

Also in London, White & Case has expanded its M&A practice to include partner Ferdinand Mason from Global 100 competitor Jones Day. Mason is a seasoned advisor on public and private M&A transactions, particularly in the technology, healthcare, energy, financial services and real estate sectors.
Oliver Brettle, member of White & Case’s global executive committee, insisted that Mason’s attitude “sends a clear message to the market that we are investing in broad and in-depth M&A practice in London over the long term”.

Finally, McDermott Will & Emery has appointed the experienced energy project specialist Ignatius Hwang as a partner in its London office. Hwang has served as managing partner for Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and Squire Patton Boggs in Singapore for the past decade and has over 30 years of experience advising governments and sponsors on public-private partnerships and other energy projects.

Hamid Yunis, managing partner of McDermott’s London office, said Hwang ‘will play a leading role in developing our offerings in London, Singapore and Southeast Asia and complement our capabilities in other growth regions such as India and the Middle East. ‘

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