Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has returned to Ashurst to boost its European offering, hiring German finance partner Sebastian Schoon.
Schoon, who is the fifth partner Gibson Dunn has hired from Ashurst since the beginning of June, co-led the Anglo-Australian firm’s Munich restructuring team alongside Alexander Ballmann.
Gibson Dunn has been on a recruitment spree across Europe in recent months. In June it launched litigation and finance practices in Paris with the hire of a four-partner team from Ashurst’s French base.
Earlier this month it hired Allen & Overy (A&O) City arbitration partner Jeffrey Sullivan, having already targeted the magic circle firm for a four-lawyer technology team in Paris in January.
In June, the firm also hired Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) global energy co-head Anna Howell in London.
Gibson Dunn chair and managing partner Ken Doran said: “Sebastian’s addition will be a vital step in building our transactional practices in Germany. In addition to his standalone finance practice, he will support our M&A, private equity, corporate, restructuring and real estate practices in the German market and globally.”
An Ashurst spokesperson said: “Our Munich office has always been strong and, in particular, achieved very good results and revenue growth in the last financial year. We are continuing to invest in Germany where we want to be larger and, of necessity, having the right calibre of partners in place to achieve further growth is essential. We do not anticipate that this departure will impact our plans or capability in any way.”
News of Schoon’s departure in Germany comes as HSF’s associated firm in Indonesia has hired former Ashurst consultant Debby Sulaiman.
Sulaiman joins Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung as a partner in the restructuring practice, with a focus on disputes. She was previously a senior consultant in Ashurst, where she was also a partner in its associated Indonesian firm Oentoeng Suria & Partners. She joined Ashurst in late 2014 as part of a four-strong restructuring and insolvency team defecting from O’Melveny & Myers.
Three of those four lawyers have left Ashurst; in addition to Sulaiman, former Singapore partner Joel Hogarth went to corporate advisory firm Borrelli Walsh in October last year and former Hong Kong partner Bertie Mehigan joined Howse Williams Bowers around the same time. Jakarta partner Ratih “Ipop” Nawangsari remains at Ashurst and Oentoeng Suria & Partners.
HSF and Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung have been in association since 2000. Jakarta partner David Dawborn, Singapore partner Brian Scott and Kuala Lumpur partner Vik Tang also advise on Indonesia-related work.
Separately, HSF is set to overhaul its Korea leadership, with corporate partner Dongho Lee to replace Lewis McDonald as Seoul managing partner. McDonald will continue his role as Asia head of corporate in Tokyo. Earlier this year, the firm moved former Tokyo partner and Asia head of disputes Peter Godwin to lead its newly opened Kuala Lumpur office.
HSF opened in Seoul in 2013 and was the second UK firm after Clifford Chance to launch into Korea.