King & Wood Mallesons. (Courtesy photo)
The slow collapse of global legal giant King & Wood Mallesons’ aspirations in Europe were chronicled in an autopsy by The American Lawyer last month, one that looked at the Asia Pacific firm’s expansion efforts, including its ill-fated combination with London-based SJ Berwin in 2013.
With administration, the U.K. equivalent of bankruptcy court, looming on the horizon for King & Wood Mallesons’ Europe, U.K. and Middle East arm (KWME), the firm put 100 staff members on unpaid leave last week, according to sibling publication Legal Week. In late December, its legacy SJ Berwin arm filed an intention to appoint administrators, even as King & Wood Mallesons’ Chinese parent entity sought to hold on to some banking and corporate functions in London and absorb some international offices throughout Europe and the Middle East. (KWME filed a second notice this week.)
Despite the steady stream of defections, many of which are noted below, King & Wood Mallesons has sought to continue building on its strengths in the Asia Pacific region. The firm recently nabbed corporate partners LI XIAOYANG and HAN YUE in Beijing from leading domestic Chinese firm JunHe, according to sibling publication The Asian Lawyer, which also noted King & Wood Mallesons’ hire of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft’s Asia managing partner ROCKY LEE in Hong Kong.
In other On the Move news …
Baker Botts bagged King & Wood Mallesons partner JAMES DOUGLASS in London, where he headed the firm’s energy, infrastructure and resources group for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to Legal Week. Baker Botts also brought on Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo corporate and financial restructuring partner JOHN BAE in New York. Baker Botts special counsel AJEET PAI, who joined the firm last summer in Austin, Texas, left the firm last month to take an in-house IP litigation role at Amazon.com Inc. in the Lone Star State capital. CYNTHIA CRAWFORD, a toxic tort litigation special counsel at Baker Botts in Houston, also left the firm late last year to become of counsel at litigation shop Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer in the same city.
Baker Botts grew its office in Washington, D.C., last year by bringing on IP litigation partner LISA KATTAN, who most recently served as an investigative attorney with the U.S. International Trade Commission’s Office of Unfair Import Investigations. Baker Botts also hired antitrust partner MICHAEL PERRY in Washington, D.C., from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, where he was counsel to the director from 2015 until last year. The FTC recently tapped Baker Botts antitrust partner THOMAS DILLICKRATH, who in 2011 fled Howrey to join the firm’s office in the nation’s capital, to serve as its new deputy chief trial counsel for its bureau of competition.
Baker McKenzie, a global legal giant that just ditched its ampersand, brought on a seven-lawyer team from King & Wood Mallesons in London led by private equity partner WILL HOLDER, labor and employment partner CARL RICHARDS and five associates, according to Legal Week. Baker McKenzie snagged Shearman & Sterling special attorney ANNA BROWN, the firm’s global director of diversity and inclusion, as its North America director of diversity and inclusion in New York. The Asian Lawyer reported that Dentons added EDMUND LEOW, co-founding partner of Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow in Singapore, to lead its tax practice in the city-state. Baker & McKenzie partner public procurement partner MORVARID NILSSON joined leading Swedish firm Magnusson in Stockholm.
Covington & Burling has hired King & Wood Mallesons head of litigation CRAIG POLLACK, partner LOUISE FREEMAN and several associates in London. Legal Week reported in late November on Covington’s discussions with Pollack. Squire Patton Boggs picked up Covington special counsel MONIKA KUSCHEWSKY as a data protection and privacy partner in Brussels. ROBERT NICHOLS, a top government contracts partner at Covington who joined the firm in 2012 from Crowell & Moring in Washington, D.C., left in November to start his own boutique, according to Bloomberg Big Law Business.
Debevoise & Plimpton picked up King & Wood Mallesons private equity partner SIMON WITNEY last week as a consultant in London, according to Legal Week, which noted that Witney served as co-head of his former firm’s local funds team and sat on its management board. Debevoise banking and finance counsel ANNE MEYER left the firm’s New York headquarters in October for shareholder adviser Georgeson Inc., where she is now senior managing director of corporate governance.
DLA Piper hired King & Wood Mallesons real estate partners JEREMY BROOKS, GEORGE BURRHA, CORNELIUS MEDVEI, WILLIAM NAUNTON, EDWARD PAGE and BRYAN PICKUP in London, according to Legal Week. Also leaving King & Wood Mallesons for DLA Piper is associate-turned-partner OMAR MAROOF. Naunton, who served as co-head of U.K. real estate at King & Wood Mallesons, and Medvei joined the firm in 2014 from Eversheds. Legal Week also reported last week that DLA Piper had added King & Wood Mallesons’ Germany real estate head LARS REUBEKEUL, real estate partner FLORIAN BIESALSKI and three others in Frankfurt and Munich. The latter city saw Magic Circle firm Linklaters recruit DLA Piper’s international real estate head CARSTEN LOLL to its ranks this month. In Amsterdam, DLA Piper corporate investigations partner DAVID SCHREUDERS decamped for the crime, fraud and investigations group at British firm Simmons & Simmons in the same city.
DLA Piper also picked up LEIGH MARTIN as a partner in Leeds, England, from his role as head of IP at local firm Clarion Solicitors. In London, Legal Week reported on DLA Piper’s addition of recently retired Ropes & Gray senior private equity partner MAURICE ALLEN as a consultant, a role he will also retain at Ropes & Gray as long as he steers clear of conflicts. DLA Piper also picked up restructuring and special situations partner ANDREW PAYNE in Hong Kong from Clearwater Capital Partners LLC, where the former O’Melveny & Myers counsel was seconded as an in-house counsel from Ashurst, according to The Asian Lawyer, which reported Sunday on DLA Piper’s of NATHAN BUSH, O’Melveny & Myers’ last resident partner in Singapore. Bush, who made partner at O’Melveny & Myers in 2009, will be the global legal giant’s Asia head of investigations and Asia head of antitrust.
In the Americas, DLA Piper announced last month its expansion into Chile via a cooperation agreement with local firm Bahamondez, Alvarez and Zegers, which sibling publication the Daily Business Review reported will now do business as BAZ/DLA Piper. DLA Piper picked up Moore & Van Allen private equity and M&A partner OMARI SEALY in Charlotte, North Carolina, for its office in Miami, where the Trinidad-born corporate lawyer will pursue transactional work on behalf of clients in South Florida and the Caribbean. DLA Piper also snagged Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth corporate partner MICHAEL BROWN in San Diego. Leading independent Australian firm Minter Ellison brought on veteran DLA Piper litigation and regulatory partner MARK WILLIAMS in Perth, while Dentons hired DLA Piper senior counsel ROBERTA MOSCAROLI as a partner in Rome.
The American Lawyer noted a month ago on Goodwin Procter’s intention to take on a team of lawyers from King & Wood Mallesons led by U.K. investment funds head MICHAEL HALFORD. Legal Week recently reported on a deal between King & Wood Mallesons and Goodwin Procter that will see the former drop litigation against the latter in order to take on a 26-strong private equity and investment funds team in London led by Halford and partners LAURA CHARKIN, SHAWN D’AGUIAR, PATRICK DEASY, ED HALL and AJAY PATHAK. Goodwin Procter also picked up private equity and investment funds partners MARIE-LAURE BRUNEEL and ARNAUD DAVID in Paris from De Pardieu Brocas Maffei and King & Wood Mallesons, respectively. Both lawyers were partners at their previous firms. David served as co-head of the international funds department at King & Wood Mallesons.
Greenberg Traurig recruited a six-strong King & Wood Mallesons real estate team in London led by private equity partners STEVEN COWINS and MARC SNELL, corporate partners DAVID FITZGERALD and MICHAEL GOLDBERG, real estate transactions partner MATTHEW PRIDAY and tax partner CLIVE JONES, according to Legal Week. Greenberg Traurig bagged bankruptcy and restructuring partner JESKO STARK in Berlin from local shop Leonhardt Rattunde and added Clifford Chance legal adviser ANNA HALAS-KRAWCZYK as of counsel and head of its employment practice in Warsaw. Greenberg Traurig entertainment and media of counsel KRISTEN HASS left the firm’s New York office in November to become vice president and senior counsel for strategic transactions at CBS Corp. BRIAN MCCLOSKEY, an IP of counsel at Greenberg Traurig in New York for the past three years, left in December to become chief patent counsel at Avon Products Inc.
Greenberg Traurig added pharmaceutical and life sciences litigation and regulatory of counsel ANNA LAAKMANN in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., from her role as an associate professor at the Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. Greenberg Traurig nabbed Nossaman commercial real estate and public pensions partner ALEXANDER JACKINS in Washington, D.C. In Florida, Greenberg Traurig picked up litigation of counsel BRIAN PANTALEO in West Palm Beach from Locke Lord, which he joined after the firm absorbed Edwards Wildman Palmer in early 2015. Greenberg Traurig grabbed ANDREW WEIN, senior vice president and deputy general counsel for regulatory compliance at Ocwen Financial Corp. in West Palm Beach, as a partner for its financial services litigation and compliance group in Washington, D.C. Greenberg Traurig of counsel BENJAMIN BUTTERFIELD, who joined the firm’s Orlando office in late 2015, left in December to become of counsel at local shop Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed.
Greenberg Traurig hired insurance coverage of counsel THOMAS HOLDEN in San Francisco from Trenk, DiPasquale, Della Ferra & Sodono in the Bay Area. Greenberg Traurig recruited Michelman & Robinson government law and policy partner WILLIAM GAUSEWITZ in Sacramento, where Greenberg Traurig partner DARRELL STEINBERG recently resigned from the firm after being elected mayor of California’s capital city. FisherBroyles brought on Greenberg Traurig gaming, IP and technology partner ROBBIE PHILLIPS in Las Vegas. Greenberg Traurig litigation partner PAULA DEGIACOMO, who joined the firm’s Boston office in 2011, has headed to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office in the same city. Greenberg Traurig litigation of counsel TIMOTHY JOHNSTON in Boston left the firm in early September to work at household appliance maker SharkNinja Operating LLC. Greenberg Traurig energy and infrastructure of counsel PAMELA HOROWITZ left the firm’s Houston office last summer to become a stay at home.
K&L Gates hired King & Wood Mallesons corporate partner FRANZ SCHAEFER, counsel MARTINA ORTNER and an associate in Munich, where they re-joined a colleague who headed to K&L Gates to open its Munich office last summer, according to Legal Week. K&L Gates’ Berlin office brought on Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr corporate, transactional and litigation partners ALEXANDER KOLLMORGEN and KLAUS SCHUBERT, counsels JULIA GOETZ and MICHAEL MELBER and two associates, according to a report last month by German legal publication Juve. K&L Gates also grew its Shanghai office with corporate partners SIMON POH and AMIGO XIE, which The Asian Lawyer reported it recruited from Linklaters and local outfit Llinks Law Offices, respectively.
In the U.S., K&L Gates picked up Paul Hastings energy and environmental associate BUCK ENDEMANN as a partner in San Francisco, while welcoming Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice environmental regulatory and policy partner LORI HINNANT in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for its Research Triangle Park office in nearby Morrisville. K&L Gates added government enforcement partner MICHAEL DYSON in Washington, D.C., where the former longtime Winston & Strawn partner spent the past four years as senior counsel at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
K&L Gates, which recently launched a new artificial intelligence initiative to advise and support clients, saw commercial disputes expert SARAH KENNEY, promoted to partner two years ago in New York, become senior counsel at Plano, Texas-based department store chain J.C. Penney Corp. Inc. JOHN PIERCE, a former co-head of K&L Gates’ litigation department who joined the firm’s offices in Pittsburgh and Palo Alto, California, last year before a sudden departure, has formed his own firm in Los Angeles called Pierce Sergenian with a former colleague at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, according to The Recorder.
McDermott Will & Emery welcomed MICHAEL CZIESLA, senior partner for King & Wood Mallesons’ struggling Europe and Middle East arm, to its office in Frankfurt. Legal Week reported in October on McDermott’s addition of ALICIA VIDEON, head of restructuring and insolvency at British firm Olswang in London, where the latter is poised to pull off a three-way merger this year. McDermott recruited Morrison & Foerster corporate partner DAVID LIPKIN in San Francisco for its office in nearby Menlo Park, California, according to an October report by sibling publication The Recorder. He joined MoFo in 2011 from Cooley. EY Legal, the legal services arm of global accounting giant Ernst & Young, added McDermott tax partner MARTIN MILNER in Washington, D.C., where he joined the firm in 2012 from Mayer Brown. Bryan Cave brought on McDermott private client partner DAVID ADLER last week in London, where he joined McDermott from Withers in early 2015.
O’Melveny & Myers hired King & Wood Mallesons partner JONATHAN BLAKE, head of funds for KWME and a former senior partner at SJ Berwin, for its private, public funds and institutional investors group in London, according to Legal Week. O’Melveny & Myers corporate counsel CHRISTINA WHITTAKER left the firm’s office in Newport Beach, California, last month to become senior counsel at Irvine, California-based software company Alteryx Inc. O’Melveny & Myers real estate transactions counsel CANDACE NOVELL also left the firm in October to become vice president and assistant general counsel at RSI Communities in Newport Beach.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe hired King & Wood Mallesons private equity partner YLAN STEINER in London, according to a report last month by Legal Week, which also noted Orrick’s intention to bring on King & Wood Mallesons private equity partner CHRISTOPH BRENNER in Munich. Brenner headed his former firm’s corporate group in Germany. PATRICIA GILLETTE, a labor and employment partner at Orrick in San Francisco and head of the firm’s women’s affinity group, has left the firm to join Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services. She continues to serve as co-chair of The Opt In Project and a board member for DirectWomen, a nonprofit that seeks to increase the representation of women on corporate boards.
Proskauer Rose, which broke off merger talks in 2010 with SJ Berwin, has hired King & Wood Mallesons tax partner STEPHEN PEVSNER in London. Pevsner will re-join former SJ Berwin managing partner Rob Day, who left King & Wood Mallesons late last year for Proskauer. The American Lawyer reported in December on Proskauer litigation partner JENNIFER SCULLION leaving the firm to join high-profile plaintiffs shop Seeger Weiss. Winston & Strawn picked up Proskauer corporate partner ROBIN FEINER in New York, where she made partner in 2015, two years after joining the firm as senior counsel in its capital markets group after leaving her executive director role at UBS Investment Bank.
Reed Smith reeled in King & Wood Mallesons financial regulatory partner DAVID CALLIGAN last month in London, according to Legal Week, which noted the firm’s hire Monday of London equity capital markets head DELPHINE CURRIE, financial regulatory partner TIM DOLAN and finance partner TAMASIN LITTLE from King & Wood Mallesons. Reed Smith, which is reportedly in discussions with other King & Wood Mallesons partners, snagged Sheridans music division head JAMES SULLY in December as a partner for its global entertainment and media industry practice in London and Los Angeles. Reed Smith also recruited Morrison & Foerster tax partner R. GREGORY ROBERTS in New York and health care litigation partner BRYAN WEBSTER from McDermott in Chicago. TROY DOYLE, who joined Reed Smith last year as a senior restructuring partner in Singapore and co-chair of the firm’s global special situations and funds group, is now CEO of Catalyst Advisory. Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete picked up Reed Smith labor and employment partner JULIUS TURMAN this week to lead its new office in San Francisco.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher welcomed NATHALIE DUGUAY, co-head of the investment funds formation department at King & Wood Mallesons, as a partner for its asset management group in Paris. Willkie Farr snagged special European tax counsel NICOLAS WOLSKI in Frankfurt last summer from his role as counsel at German firm GvW Graf von Westphalen.
Winston & Strawn hired King & Wood Mallesons finance partner IAN BORMAN in London, where Legal Week noted he served as global coordinator of acquisition finance at the firm. Winston & Strawn also added international arbitration of counsel KSENIYA ELFIMOVA in London from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Geneva, where she was counsel. In New York, Alston & Bird added Winston & Strawn insurance litigation partners JOHN AERNI and ADAM KAISER, as noted last month by sibling publication the New York Law Journal. Both new hires were among a group of roughly 70 lawyers that moved en masse to Winston & Strawn in 2012 from now-defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf.
In Dubai, Winston & Strawn welcomed White & Case partner SHIBEER AHMED, who will head his new firm’s Islamic banking and finance practice. Winstead wrangled Winston & Strawn banking and finance partner JONATHAN JUDKOWITZ in Houston, where he joined the latter two years ago from Mayer Brown. Winston & Strawn IP, advertising and marketing law partner BRIAN FERGEMANN left the firm’s Chicago headquarters late last year to become senior counsel for marketing and IP at McDonald’s Corp. in suburban Oak Brook, Illinois. Winston & Strawn IP litigation partner MICHAEL SCHEER in Los Angeles and New York has started his own firm in Sherman Oaks, California.