03 June 2021

Appointments: Howard Kennedy boosts business crime practice and Steptoe & Johnson adds sanctions expert

Howard Kennedy's Kyle Phillips (L) and Steptoe & Johnson's Dave Stetson (R)

This week's collection of lateral moves also sees Cooley bring in a seasoned litigator in Los Angeles

Howard Kennedy adds to business crime offering

Howard Kennedy has expanded its business crime practice with the addition of Kyle Phillips from Fieldfisher. 

London-based Phillips re-joins Howard Kennedy four years after he departed the firm for Fieldfisher in 2018 as a senior associate. He returns as a partner, bringing with him more than a decade of experience handling high-profile financial crime investigations for clients, including Wirecard, EURIBOR, G4S and Forex.  

Commenting on the appointment, Ian Ryan, partner and head of Howard Kennedy’s business crime and regulatory group, said Phillips’ expertise on cross-border investigations and money laundering “compliment” the firm’s existing outfit in London.  

“With the increased volatility of the market and continued rapid changes to the regulatory landscape we are confident Kyle will play a key role in ensuring we successfully meet the needs of our clients,” he added. 

Sanctions expert for Steptoe & Johnson

Steptoe & Johnson has hired sanctions expert Dave Stetson from Goldman Sachs in New York. 

Stetson joins the firm after nearly a decade at Goldman, where he held a number of roles including vice president of its business intelligence group and financial crime compliance unit. He also served as global co-head of sanctions compliance in Goldman’s global compliance division. 

Prior to joining the investment bank in 2012, he spent four years as a senior lawyer in the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. In government service, he advised on the drafting and implementation of sanctions statutes, executive orders and regulations for various US sanctions programmes. He worked closely with the Departments of State, Justice and Commerce, as well as National Security Council staff. 

Cooley adds prominent litigator

Michael Tu has joined Cooley as a partner in its securities litigation practice in Los Angeles. Arriving from Orrick, where he headed the firm’s Southern California securities practice, Tu brings more than two decades of litigation experience, including shareholder litigation, regulatory investigations and proceedings, and mergers acquisitions disputes under federal and state securities laws.

“Michael is a recognised leading trial lawyer with significant experience achieving successful results for clients,” said Patrick Gibbs, head of Cooley’s securities litigation group. “His skillset and market reputation will help us increase the breadth and depth of our litigation capabilities in Los Angeles and nationally – we are very excited that he is joining our team.”

Cooley has more than 65 trial lawyers focused on securities litigation, making its practice is one of the most active in the US for the defence of issuers in shareholder litigation.

Tax practice boost for Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has hired Stephanie Pantelidaki as head of financial services transfer pricing in the firm's tax practice. She has joined after eight years at PwC, where she worked in both the firm's UK and Switzerland offices. 

Pantelidaki has over twenty years' experience advising on transfer pricing and international corporate tax issues with a particular focus on financial services – having worked with institutions in the banking and capital markets, investment management and insurance sectors.

She started her career in academia as an economic adviser and research fellow at London Business School and went on to work for organisations including Andersen and KPMG. She first joined Baker McKenzie in 2006 and over the next three years helped establish the transfer pricing team in the firm's London office.  

Mark Delaney, head of Baker McKenzie's tax practice in London, said: "Stephanie is a truly exciting hire for Baker McKenzie. We're seeing increased demands from financial institutions for transfer pricing works and her skills and expertise will enable us to deliver an even better service for our clients."

Houthoff adds former chief public prosecutor

Dutch law firm Houthoff has added former chief public prosecutor Marianne Bloos as of counsel in its investigations and public enforcement practice in Amsterdam.  

Throughout her career, Bloos has garnered an extensive track record at the Public Prosecution Service, where she headed the national offices for serious fraud, environmental crime and asset confiscation as chief public prosecutor.  

The firm said Bloos’ addition plays into its growth plans for its investigations and public enforcement practice, in which Bloos is expected to play a “key role”.  

Commenting on the hire, Edward de Bock, managing partner at Houthoff, said: "The results Marianne achieved as chief public prosecutor are impressive and have had a major impact on the development of combatting fraud in the Netherlands. Her special knowledge and experience are invaluable to clients who, in some form or other, are dealing with investigation and law enforcement authorities or supervisory authorities.” 

Dechert bolsters financial restructuring group

Dechert has boosted its financial restructuring group with the hire of partner Kay Morley from US rival Jones Day in London. 

The move comes just a few months after the firm tapped former Weil Gotshal & Manges heavyweight Adam Plainer to co-chair its financial restructuring group in March. 

Morley leaves Jones Day after 17 years at the firm, bringing with her a wealth of experience advising clients in all aspects of insolvency and corporate restructurings with a particular focus on European special situations and cross-border work. Her past clients include hedge funds, distressed investors, private equity portfolio companies and insolvency practitioners. 

Allen Brilliant, co-chair of Dechert’s global financial restructuring practice, said: “With Kay’s significant insolvency and corporate restructuring experience, she will enhance and augment our team’s core strengths as well as our client offering throughout Europe.” 

Dechert veteran for Winston & Strawn

Former Dechert partner Craig Godshall, on the other hand, has left the firm after 37 years to join Winston & Strawn’s corporate practice as a partner in its office in New York. 

Godshall worked across a range of practices at Dechert and brings extensive experience structuring complex domestic and international transactions on behalf of private equity fund sponsors. He has provided counsel on the development of SPAC deals and on the corporate governance side specialises in representing boards, audit committees and owners of public and private companies in internal investigations.  

"Private equity transactions are continually expanding in terms of complexity and global implications," said Winston Chairman Tom Fitzgerald. "Craig's experience will be ideal as we continue to serve client needs and navigate new pathways for growth."

Abreu Advogados brings in aviation expert

Portugal’s Abreu Advogados has added to its partnership again, this time with the addition of aviation law expert Nuno Luis Sapateiro. He has joined the firm from Lisbon-based PLMJ, where he spent nearly two decades working in the firm’s banking and finance practices. 

Sapateiro focuses on insurance matters as they relate to the aviation sector and has provided legal counsel on a number of domestic and cross-border transactions involving major airline companies. His lateral hire comes amid an organic growth spurt for the firm, which made up four partners earlier this month. The moves follow the firm’s recent governance structure overhaul that included the appointment of Ines Sequeira Mendes as managing partner.

Trilegal adds duo from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas

India’s Trilegal has bolstered its banking and finance capabilities with the appointment of partner duo Pranav Sharma and Mallika Chopra from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas in Mumbai. 

The pair combines for more than two decades of experience handling legal matters on behalf of financial institutions, credit providers, lenders, corporate borrowers and private equity sponsors. 

Pranav, who previously worked at Linklaters as managing associate of its London banking group, is dual-qualified in India and the UK, while Chopra has experience advising in cross-border banking and finance transactions.

With Pranav and Chopra’s arrival, Trilegal’s partner tally grows to 65 across four offices in Delhi, Bangalore, Gurgaon and Mumbai. 

Taylor Wessing’s managing partner set for second term

Taylor Wessing has announced managing partner Shane Gleghorn has been selected to serve a second term as UK managing partner in London. 

Gleghorn, who will begin his three-year term in October, was unopposed in the latest election. He has held the role since 2018, taking over from ten-year veteran Tim Eyles. He has been a partner at Taylor Wessing since 2006 and served as head of the firm’s commercial disputes group. 

Commenting on his re-election, Gleghorn said: The way the firm has dealt effectively with the challenges of the pandemic gives us strong grounds for optimism because we have seen exceptional support from our clients and our people. We are confident that the investments we have made in our people and technology, and our focus on our clients, will enable us to take advantage of the opportunities in the markets."

Corporate specialist for Hughes Hubbard & Reed

Hughes Hubbard & Reed has boosted its corporate group with the hire of corporate specialist Scott Naturman in New York. 

Naturman joins the firm as a partner from Covington & Burling, where he spent six years as special counsel in the firm’s corporate group. Prior to his time at Covington, he worked as an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. 

During his tenure at Covington, Naturman built up a track record of advising public and private companies as well as private equity firms in matters relating to M&A, dispositions, corporate governance, commercial contracts, representation and warranty insurance policies, engagement letters and confidentiality agreements. He has also acted as outside general counsel in the pharmaceutical industry and led a number of restructuring projects for multinational corporations. 

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