Latham & Watkins has strengthened its London and New York offices with the hire litigator Ian Felstead in London and Allen & Overy corporate partner Peter Harwich in New York, where the firm has also added tax partner Elena Romanova.
Harwich leaves Allen & Overy’s New York office are more than 15 years at the Magic Circle firm, where he worked on a number of high-profile deals for corporate clients. Last year Harwich led an Allen & Overy team advising media giant Thomson Reuters Corp. on the $3.55 billion sale of its intellectual property and science business to a pair of private equity firms. In 2011, he took the lead for German software maker SAP SE on its $3.4 billion buy of SuccessFactors Inc.
“Peter is a recognized leader in public M&A, and that experience combined with his broad understanding of corporate and securities matters, will be of tremendous value to our clients not only in New York, but across the globe,” said a statement by Latham’s Michele Penzer, who in 2015 took over as the firm’s New York managing partner.
News of Harwich’s exit from Allen & Overy comes a week after Washington, D.C.-based U.S. banking head Heath Tarbert left the firm to take up a top post at the U.S. Department of the Treasury following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Tarbert, who had a roughly $1.06 million partnership stake in the London-based legal giant, will now serve as assistant secretary overseeing international markets and development.
Romanova, a tax expert who began her legal career as an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, spent the past seven years at Citigroup Inc., where she most recently a managing director and head of the institutional clients group at the global financial services giant.
Latham’s Penzer called Romanova a “go-to resource for our global financial institution clients and other market participants engaging in sophisticated financial products transactions, mainly derivatives and structured finance transactions.”
Latham declined to comment on Felstead’s arrival. He previously worked at British firm Olswang, where he gave noticed earlier this year prior to its three-way combination with CMS Cameron McKenna and Nabarro on May 1. Felstead officially joined Latham this week, having been released after serving his nearly six-month notice period at his former firm.
Among Felstead’s clients are leading U.K. commercial broadcaster ITV plc, as well as News Group Newspapers Ltd., which he acted for during a high-profile 2011 phone hacking scandal involving the Rupert Murdoch-owned business. Felstead comes to Latham a few weeks after the firm picked up former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Simeon Rudin, a former head of the latter’s structured and asset finance team, as counsel in London.
Latham, which recently topped The American Lawyer’s Global 100 ranks as the world’s most profitable law firm when measured by gross revenue, is keen on expanding its litigation expertise in London. Stuart Alford, co-chair of Latham’s disputes practice in the city, recently told London-based Legal Week that the firm wants to double the number of lawyers it has handling litigation matters in London within the next three-to-five years.
In the U.S., Latham has also been busy hitting the lateral market. Last month the firm welcomed aboard former Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati data protection and privacy co-chair Michael Rubin as a partner in San Francisco.