The departure of two Jones Day partners in London for Katten Muchin Rosenman and Morrison & Foerster mark the latest batch of lateral movement in what has been a busy few weeks at the 2,523-lawyer firm, the world’s eighth-largest firm by head count.
The last and first months of any calendar year traditionally see a good amount of turnover in the partnership ranks at many law firms. And Jones Day, which has seen three partners leave in London during the past three weeks, has had a particularly busy revolving door.
Morrison & Foerster, which last month hired Jones Day M&A partner Khoa Do in Silicon Valley, is poised to add corporate partner Daniel Coppel in London, where he joined Jones Day in 2012 after fleeing now-defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf. Coppel’s practice focuses on M&A and private equity work for clients in the energy and natural resources space.
“Dan is an accomplished lawyer and his arrival will further deepen the bench strength of our growing London corporate practice, following a robust 2017 with many market-leading deals,” said MoFo’s Europe managing partner Paul Friedman. “His more than 20 years of experience in cross-border corporate transactions, including practicing in both Moscow and New York, will also enhance our leading global corporate offering.”
Meanwhile, financial institutions regulatory partner John Ahern has also left Jones Day in London for Katten, a firm that Jones Day raided last month for banking and finance partner Angela Patterson in New York. (Batterson was quickly joined at Jones Day in New York by finance partner Kimberly Desmarais, who came aboard last month from Ashurst, a firm she joined two years ago from Cahill Gordon & Reindel.)
As for Ahern, who initially came to Jones Day in 2011 from British firm Addleshaw Goddard, he focuses his practice on the financial services industry in the U.K., Middle East and Asia. Ahern also has in-house experience, having spent eight years in-house at Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc.
Peter Sugden, managing partner for Katten in London, told Legal Week last year that his firm was planning “significant” growth in the U.K. capital during the next three years. The firm, which earlier this week announced a new Dallas office, has also recruited Lloyds Banking Group plc senior legal counsel Kumar Tewari as a partner in London.
For Jones Day, the exits of Ahern and Coppel come two weeks after Vinson & Elkins added acquisition and leveraged finance partner Paul Simcock in London. Banking and finance partner Amy Kho also left Jones Day’s London office earlier this month, while securitization and structured finance partner Neil Hamilton departed in December to join CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang.
Jones Day also saw a number of partner departures in London during its 2015-16 financial year, including several practice heads, with some attributing the exits to tensions surrounding the firm’s so-called black box compensation system and a disconnect in pay between the London office and the rest of the Am Law 100 firm, which has its roots in Cleveland. (Jones Day absorbed London-based Gouldens in 2003.)
Nonetheless, Jones Day has continued to grow, announcing plans last month for a fourth Australian office in Melbourne and hiring retired U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Judge Ann Claire Williams as of counsel in Chicago and head of its efforts to advance the rule of law in Africa. In December, Jones Day picked up Dykema Gossett cybersecurity partner Aaron Charfoos in the Windy City and unveiled plans to hire five former U.S. Supreme Court clerks.
In Paris, where Jones Day brought on all of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s local real estate team a year ago this month, the firm welcomed Linklaters private equity partner David Swinburne and two associates late last year. In October, Jones Day hired DLA Piper tax partner Frank Jackson in New York, a month after bringing on three former federal government lawyers for its litigation and government regulation practices in Washington, D.C.
And this week Jones Day announced its addition of a five-lawyer fund structuring team in Amsterdam led by former Clifford Chance private equity partners Ate van IJlzinga Veenstra and Quirine Eenhorst.
But there have also been more departures.
David Heiman, founder of Jones Day’s bankruptcy practice and one of The American Lawyer’s Dealmakers of the Year in 2015 for his work on Detroit’s municipal debt restructuring, retired from the firm and joined JAMS as a neutral arbitrator in the Motor City. DLA Piper picked up two Jones Day partners in Tokyo and the Australian government hired Bill Napier, a Jones Day partner in Sydney and former head of the firm’s local projects and infrastructure transactions practice, to serve as chief counsel of the Australian Government Solicitor’s commercial division. In Mexico City, Holland & Knight hired a five-lawyer team from Jones Day last month.
M&A partner and women’s affinity group leader Jacqueline Hodes, who joined Jones Day’s Miami office in 2012 from DLA Piper, also recently left the firm to form J2 Legal Group in Miami. Winston & Strawn announced this week its hire of Jones Day partner capital markets and securities partner Charles Haag in Dallas, where corporate finance and securities partner David Kern has left Jones Day to go in-house at energy giant Exxon Mobil Corp. Bryan Zair, an M&A partner who joined Jones Day in 2015 from Mayer Brown, left in October to become general counsel at Schaumburg, Illinois-based Sasser Family Holdings Inc., a family-owned transportation asset services and management company.
Jones Day patent litigation partner J. Patrick Elsevier left the firm’s San Diego office in November to become vice president of litigation at Summit, New Jersey-based biopharmaceutical company Celgene Corp., while intellectual property licensing and litigation partner Joon Yoon left a month earlier after nearly two years in Jones Day’s New York office to start his own practice in Hoboken, New Jersey. Massimo Tesei, an Italian M&A lawyer who Jones Day’s Milan office hired as a partner in 2016, also left the firm in December to join local outfit Studio Di Gravio.