This week’s round-up focuses on finance, with mutual funds, debt financing and financial services regulation among the target areas both locally and internationally.
King & Spalding stood out among City’s elite when it recruited partner Stephen Sims to its London private funds and alternative capital team. Sims, who joined from management consultancy MJ Hudson, previously led the European investment management team at Skadden and advises on fund formation in relation to private equity, real assets, infrastructure and energy funds and fund-related M&A transactions.
Speaking to Legal Business, Sims said: “I have known King & Spalding for many years. I worked against them on a significant transaction almost a decade ago. Why King & Spalding now? It’s an exciting place, the company grows in the different areas of the private capital lifecycle. People used to focus on private equity or hedge funds or other sectors, now we think of private capital, which are really all sources of people making private investments.’
Sims is the latest in a series of additions to King & Spalding’s European corporate, finance and investment group. Amit Kataria and Paul Barron arrived in London in October, while the Paris and Frankfurt offices have also expanded significantly in recent months.
Sims added: “If you look at the company, it attracts some bright young talent and has the ability to advise a fund manager throughout the life cycle, such as: B. Investment management, secondaries and disputes, and exits. I wanted to work with a company that is able to deliver all of this in all major jurisdictions.’
Reed Smith was also active and hired Romin Dabir as a partner in London. After taking a short career break earlier in the year, Dabir was most recently a partner in the financial services oversight team at Kirkland & Ellis, having previously worked at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Macfarlanes.
Panos Katsambas, Co-Chairman of Reed Smith’s Finance Industry, said: “We are delighted to welcome an attorney of Romin’s caliber to the firm. He is an extremely talented practitioner with extensive experience advising on a variety of financial regulatory matters and is well known in the marketplace. In fact, some of our customers already know him very well.’
Meanwhile, DMH Stallard has added former Natwest in-house counsel Michael Lynch to its City restructuring and bankruptcy team. Lynch brings expertise in insolvency proceedings, having acted for parties in complex and often multi-jurisdictional disputes.
On the continent, Eversheds Sutherland has brought fund attorney Claudia Hoffmann to its Luxembourg office. Formerly Counsel at independent Luxembourg law firm Arendt & Medernach, Hoffman focuses on advising investment managers, sponsors and investors on alternative investment fund restructurings.
In Sydney, White & Case launched its Australian debt finance practice by recruiting partners David Kirkland and Mark Wesseldine. Kirkland, who joined from Gilbert + Tobin, has expertise in cross-border leveraged finance transactions. Wesseldine returned to Australia after working in London at Allen & Overy and most recently at King & Spalding, where he represented debt funds, financial institutions and investors on multi-tranche and unitranche equity investments.
Finally, DWF entered the Canadian market by acquiring Vancouver-based independent Whitelaw Twining for £27.7m. Whitelaw, which focused on insurance, commercial disputes and personal injury and had sales of £20m in 2021, contributes to DWF’s profile in North America as well as its global focus on insurance.
Sir Nigel Knowles, CEO of DWF, said: “We are delighted to expand our offering into the Canadian legal market. Whitelaw Twining is one of the nation’s leading law firms and represents a valuable opportunity for our clients. It also allows us to expand our claims and footprint in Canada and our Connected Services and Mindcrest capabilities in North America.’