27 May 2021

Appointments: Squire builds in Perth, Shearman signals LatAm ambitions

Portrait photo of Donna Charlesworth

Donna Charlesworth

Round-up also features Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, Proskauer, Abreu, HFW, Hughes Hubbard and Fladgate

Squire secures Clayton Utz's ex-public sector head in Perth

Squire Patton Boggs has bolstered its Perth construction practice with the arrival of partner Donna Charlesworth from Australian powerhouse Clayton Utz. 

Charlesworth joins the firm after roughly seven years at Clayton Utz, including four years as head of the Sydney-based firm’s public sector practice group in Perth. She brings with her a background in advising private and government clients on construction, engineering, maintenance and offtake contracts in relation to projects in Australia, Asia and the Middle East. 

Prior to her time at Clayton Utz, Charlesworth held in-house roles at multinational engineering giant Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Tokyo and hydrocarbon exploration company Occidental Petroleum in the Middle East. 

Tom Wilson, a partner in Squire's global construction and engineering industry group, said Charlesworth's expertise complements the firm’s expanding construction team, which also saw the arrival of former DWF principal lawyer Brent Henderson in Sydney last week.

Top Indian firm bolsters Bangalore arm with twin corporate hire

India’s Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas has hired corporate lawyer duo Manav Nagaraj and K.S. Bhargava from local boutique firm Tatva Legal to boost its corporate practice in Bangalore. 

The move marks the end of Nagaraj’s 11-year tenure at Tatva, where he worked as a partner in the Bangalore-based firm’s corporate team. He joins as an equity partner, bringing with him more than 21 years of experience advising clients on various facets of corporate law, including private equity and venture capital, M&A, debt financing and fund formations. 

Throughout his career, Nagaraj worked on corporate matters across the healthcare, automotive, agricultural and social impact sectors. In addition, Nagaraj has worked with clients situated in the financial services and technology industries in Bangalore, which is widely regarded as India’s IT hub.

Bhargava, meanwhile, has 12 years of experience in corporate, commercial and real estate matters. He joined Tatva in 2009 from regional firm Dua Associates, where he spent two years as an associate in its real estate practice. The two partners will be joined by a team of lawyers from Tatva’s corporate arm, the firm said in a statement. 

Other local firms making moves in the South India legal market include Mumbai-based Khaitan & Co, which recently unveiled plans to open an office in Chennai. The firm’s new office is set to be co-anchored by corporate partner Vivek Sriram and disputes resolution partner Arva Merchant. 

Proskauer secures Kirkland corporate partner in London

Proskauer has added corporate partner Rebecca Villarreal from US rival Kirkland & Ellis in London. Villarreal became the second partner to depart Kirkland’s London office within a week, following the exit of private equity partner Mark Thomson to fellow US rival Dechert. 

Villarreal joined Kirkland in 2015 from Wilkie Farr & Gallagher, where she worked across the London and New York offices as an associate. She was promoted to the partnership in 2017 as one of 13 City partners to be made up in the firm’s sweeping 97-strong global round. 

She joins Proskauer’s corporate team with a wealth of experience in the structuring of private equity deals and leveraged buyouts, strategic acquisitions and divestitures, securities offerings as well as advisory work. 

Earlier this month, Kirkland private equity partners Volkmar Bruckner and Mark Aschenbrenner left Kirkland for Clifford Chance in Munich

Shearman signals faith in LatAm market as it chooses new team head 

Shearman & Sterling has appointed project development and finance partner Alexandro Padres to lead its Latin America affinity group, taking over from outgoing head Antonia Stolper. 

Padres, who is dual qualified in New York and Mexico, steps into the role with 20 years of experience advising firm clients in the LatAm region on infrastructure projects across the electricity, oil, gas and mining sectors. 

“As a native Mexican, I am excited to be taking over as head of the Latin America affinity group,” Padres said. 

“The region continues to grow and develop across all industries, and I look forward to spearheading our cross-practice offering in Latin America. We remain committed to the region and to working with our clients as we continue to enhance the firm’s Latin American platform.”

Stolper, who led the LatAm group for nearly three decades, steps down from the partnership into a counsel role. The firm said Padres’ appointment was indicative of its commitment to developing internal talent following a recent lateral hiring spree, which included hires in the firm’s Singapore, London and Houston offices. 

The firm currently has one LatAm location in Sao Paulo as well as a global network of lawyers who carry out work in the region. 

Abreu flags organic growth as it makes up four partners

Portugal’s Abreu Advogados has made up four partners and one professional partner, a week after it overhauled its governance structure and appointed Ines Sequeira Mendes as its new managing partner. 

The promotions, which Mendes said reflect the firm’s ongoing commitment to organic growth as part of its overall regional and international growth strategy, include corporate and business restructuring specialist Marta Romano de Castro, corporate finance lawyer Rodrigo Formigal, private client and TMT expert Marta Costa and M&A specialist Pedro Alves da Silva. Meanwhile, Maria Ines Assis is moving up the ranks as a professional partner in the firm’s tax practice. 

“These lawyers are key players in their industries and a reference within their practice,” Mendes said. “Their growth is part of Abreu Advogados’ own culture, which values our people and invests in new leaders, a key element in a firm that looks to the future.” 

The announcement comes shortly after the independent Portuguese outfit posted 12% revenue growth from the 12 months prior to the outset of Covid-19. The latest set of promotions brings the firm’s partner headcount up to 35 amid its roster of 200 lawyers and 320 professionals across its three offices in Lisbon, Porto and Madeira as well as its international desk network in Portuguese speaking countries including Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Macau, Mozambique and East Timor. 

HFW hires its second Houston-based partner

HFW has strengthened its global insurance offering with the hire of partner Amanda J. Kujda from independent Texas firm Hall Maines Lugrin. 

Kudja joins the London-based firm’s Houston arm after ten years at Hall Maines Lugrin, including one year as a shareholder. Her practice focuses on insurance disputes, with a particular emphasis on coverage litigation and subrogation, as well as complex commercial litigation involving breach of contract action and product liability. 

Throughout her career, Kudja has also advised internal and domestic excess carriers as monitoring counsel in the oil and gas sectors. 

Kudja will step into the role as the firm’s second Houston partner, joining office head Gerard Kimmitt, and its 23rd global insurance and reinsurance partner overall. HFW first established its presence in Houston in 2017, through a merger with US law firm Legge Farrow Kimmitt McGrath & Brown. 

Hughes Hubbard grows Washington aviation team

New York firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed has expanded its aviation practice with the addition of Tom Healy in Washington DC. 

Healy joins the firm as a partner from Katten Muchin Rosenman and brings with him nearly two decades of experience in advising airline buyers, sellers and financiers on all aspects of aviation law, including Chapter 11 proceedings, financing, pre-delivery payment facilities, asset and credit support agreements and regulatory compliance. 

During his tenure at Katten, Healy also led a number of deals in the aviation sector involving lease notations, junior and senior loans and intercreditor issues as well as aircraft fleet orders. 

Ted Mayer, chairman of Hughes Hubbard, said: “Tom has a well-earned reputation for understanding the airline industry’s evolving dynamics, and his addition continues our firm’s strong overall recent growth. His extensive experience counseling the various entities involved in airline financial matters makes him a great addition to our firm’s pioneering aviation team.”

Fladgate recruits real estate duo from BCLP and Memery Crystal in London

Top 100 UK firm Fladgate has boosted its London real estate practice with the arrival of partner duo Kirsty Corkum and Adam Gross. 

The duo join the firm from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) and Memery Crystal, respectively bringing its real estate headcount up to 24 partners as part of a team of 50 professionals working in its London headquarters. 

At Fladgate, Corkum will take on the role of head of development for its real estate practice. She joined BCLP from Linklaters in 2007 — prior to the transatlantic merger between London’s Berwin Leighton Paisner and St. Louis outfit Bryan Cave that created the firm in 2018 — and specialises in working on large-scale investment and development transactions for major property companies, banks and fund managers. 

Gross’ practice focuses primarily on real estate litigation. He brings with him a wealth of experience representing property companies, developers, family trusts, high net worth individuals and retail tenants in court, tribunals, arbitrations and adjudications. 

Commenting on the hires, Grant Gordon, executive partner at Fladgate, said: “The arrival of Kirsty and Adam is great news for the evolution of the real estate department and the development of the firm. The firm is deepening the range of its expertise and services to ensure the right mix of solutions for business and private clients, who often have fast moving, complex challenges across the lifecycle of their needs.”

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