Vinson & Elkins has hired Jones Day acquisition and leveraged finance partner Paul Simcock in London and brought on Morgan, Lewis & Bockius’ former deputy antitrust leader Darren Tucker as a partner in Washington, D.C.
Simcock, who joined Jones Day in 2014 from Berwin Leighton Paisner, a U.K. firm he joined in 2011 after seven years as a counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Before that, Simcock trained and worked as an associate at Allen & Overy in London.
Last year Simcock was part of the Jones Day team that advised L1 Retail, the retail investment arm of Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman’s LetterOne Holdings SA, on its $2.66 billion acquisition of health and wellness chain Holland & Barrett Retail Ltd.
“Our corporate team has been growing rapidly, and with the addition of another top-tier hire, we’re positioned to push even further into one of the leading finance capitals of the world,” said a statement from Vinson corporate partner Jeffrey Eldredge, the London-based head of the firm’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) practice. “Paul is an extremely accomplished lawyer whose strong relationships and energetic approach to client service are exactly what we look for at Vinson.”
Other recent London hires for Vinson include Clifford Chance finance partner John Dawson and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett finance counsel Federico Fruhbeck, who both joined the firm as partners in September.
“Vinson’s commitment to the continuing expansion of its London team is a big part of what prompted me to make this move,” Simcock said in a statement. “I’ve worked with many members of the team—as a colleague or across the table—and have always been impressed by the firm’s collegial and entrepreneurial culture, as well as the sophistication of its attorneys.”
Jones Day, which earlier this week announced the opening of a fourth office in Australia, saw a number of partners, including several practice heads, leave its London office during the 2015-16 financial year. At the time, London-based Legal Week reported that Jones Day’s opaque compensation system and a disconnect between the London office and the rest of the firm over pay were the cause for at least some of the exits.
Nonetheless, since then Jones Day has made several notable partner hires in continental Europe, picking up a five-strong Brussels team from White & Case in late 2016 and hiring all of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Paris real estate team almost a year ago. Jones Day, which enjoys close ties to the Trump administration, has remained busy on the lateral front in January, hiring Katten Muchin Rosenman banking and finance partner Angela Batterson and Ashurst finance partner Kimberly Desmarais in New York.
As for Vinson, earlier this month it recruited Tucker from Morgan Lewis, where he served as deputy head of the rival Am Law 100 firm’s antitrust and competition practice. Tucker previously worked at Bingham McCutchen, the bulk of which was absorbed into Morgan Lewis three years ago this month. Tucker, a former senior competition adviser at the Federal Trade Commission, joined Bingham in April 2013.