Revolving Doorways: Worldwide recruitment continues as firms focus extra on Asia

Clifford Chance, Kirkland & Ellis, RPC and Reed Smith announced new hires overseas last week.

In Asia, G100 heavyweight Kirkland has strengthened its capital markets practice in Hong Kong with the hiring of partner Mengyu Lu, who is from Sidley Austin. Lu’s expertise lies in advising on IPOs, M&A and compliance issues after listing on the stock exchange. David Zhang, a partner in Kirkland’s Asian group of companies, described Lu as a “rising star”. He added, “We are confident that it will strengthen our market-leading capital markets practice in Asia.”

Also in Hong Kong, RPC has appointed a new head of its employment practice with partner Andrea Randall. Randall was previously a partner at the dispute settlement firm Gall Solicitors in Hong Kong. She specializes in complex, controversial and non-controversial employment issues for employers and employees.

Antony Sassi, RPC’s Managing Partner for Asia, said: ‘Employment is a new field of activity for us in Hong Kong but it makes strategic sense given the strength of the team in the UK, our ability in Singapore and the ability to plug in an attorney with Andrea’s impressive references in our institutional clients here in the region. ‘

Reed Smith has significantly expanded his list in Singapore, hiring two partners of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) along with four other lawyers. Manoj Purushothaman will become a partner in the company’s global corporate team, while partner Simon Spells will strengthen the group in the transportation industry.

Purushothaman was BCLP’s Singapore director and has over 15 years of experience in cross-border M&A and private equity matters. Spells advises financial institutions, leasing companies, airlines and manufacturers on a range of international asset, structured finance and leasing transactions.

In Australia, Clyde & Co partnered Patrick Boardman to expand their insurance team in Sydney. Boardman spent 16 years with the Australian national company Wotton + Kearney, where he mainly focused on cover and defense work in financial insurance.

Lucinda Lyons, partner and insurance director at Clyde Australia, named Boardman “one of the most recognized and leading financial lines insurance lawyers” and said the appointment “underscores our position as a clear leader in the insurance industry in Australia and beyond.”

Elsewhere, Clifford Chance has tried to bolster its U.S. regulatory bank by hiring Renée Latour as a partner of Greenberg Traurig. Latour, who will be based at the Magic Circle company’s outpost in Washington DC, will focus on international trade regulation and compliance, with an emphasis on U.S. export controls and economic sanctions.

David DiBari, co-head of CC’s global risk team, said the company would “expect them to take a leadership role in further growing international trade controls and national security practices”.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has also recruited in its home market and has partnered with veteran litigator Anthony Bongiorno of McDermott, Will & Emery. Bongiorno, who served as the executive partner for McDermott’s Boston office, has extensive experience in the mass trade, product liability defense and complex trade disputes in the healthcare sector.

There were also some important attitudes on the home front. Kingsley Napley has expanded its muscular dispute resolution skills by hiring Michael Mulligan as a partner. Coming from Shakespeare Martineau, Mulligan focuses his practice on contentious bankruptcy and commercial disputes.

Richard Foss, director of dispute resolution at Kingsley Napley, praised Mulligan’s “reputation in the market” and said he is expected to support the company’s fraud and recovery efforts.

Fried Frank has also sought to strengthen his London bank by hiring veteran restructuring and bankruptcy partner Mandip Englund from Reed Smith. Typically, Englund represents financially disadvantaged corporate borrowers, financial institutions, lenders, other creditors, troubled investors, and bankruptcy administrators and practitioners.

Eric Scheler, partner and leader of Fried Frank’s global restructuring and bankruptcy practice, described Englund as an “exceptional talent” and insisted that “their skills and customer relationships blend seamlessly with the multidisciplinary offerings we offer to customers of the company.”

Finally, at the bar, 39 Essex Chambers won planning, commercial and public service expert Juan Lopez for their set. Joining the Francis Taylor Building, Lopez is rated in the Planning and Agriculture categories by The Legal 500, where he is also described as “very knowledgeable, succinct, proactive and user-friendly”.

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