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Allen & Overy enters race for KWM partners with Frankfurt hire

KWM london

Allen & Overy (A&O) has hired King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) Frankfurt corporate partner Michiel Huizinga, according to sources close to KWM.

Huizinga is expected to join A&O’s Frankfurt office later this month.

He first joined KWM in 2011 from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where he was a principal associate, and was made partner at the firm in 2013.

It is the first time a magic circle firm has hired a KWM partner since Clifford Chance recruited high profile funds partner Sonya Pauls in Munich in August last year. Pauls was German head of funds at KWM and split her time between the Munich and London offices.

The news comes as Squire Patton Boggs returns to KWM for a second City energy partner after hiring a five-strong team in November. Squire has recruited London energy partner Ian Wood, according to sources.

Wood is expected to join Squire’s City base later this month. He will be reunited with fellow former KWM energy partner Neil Upton, the sole partner in the team that joined the US firm in November.

Wood first joined KWM in March 2015 from DLA Piper, where he worked for eight years. Previously, he was in-house counsel to the British Nuclear Fuels group for six years and a tenant at 8 King Street Chambers

Financially struggling KWM Europe filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator with the High Court in December. It is expected to appoint administrators or to file another intention to appoint administrators by 9 January.

More than 40 partners have quit KWM Europe since October, when four key London partners resigned, halting the firm’s recapitalisation plan and plunging it into crisis.

Most recently, DLA Piper announced last week it had hired a further two real estate partners from KWM in Germany, following a six-partner team hire in London earlier in December.

Partners are leaving for a raft of other firms including Greenberg Traurig, Macfarlanes, K&L Gates, Winston & Strawn, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, Reed Smith, Addleshaw Goddard, Covington & Burling, Keystone Law, Proskauer and Goodwin Procter.

A&O, KWM and Squire declined to comment.

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