Revolving doors: Squire Patton Boggs makes a bold recruiting statement with team settings in London and Madrid

In a significant week of cross partner recruiting for Squire Patton Boggs, the company added new teams in London and Madrid.

In the city, the law firm has hired its partner Jonathan Lent from Gowling WLG. Previously co-head of Gowling’s real estate finance practice, Lent joins SPB with a director and two senior staff.

Lent is an experienced advisor to a number of banks and funds in the real estate market and recently worked with Welltower, a global investor in health and wellness real estate, on the £ 570m refinancing for care group HC-One.

Matt Dalzell, director of the firm’s European Real Estate Practice, commented, “The additional resources and skills Jon and the team bring will improve our customer service and the significant industry experience in hospitality and leisure, senior living and student dormitories complements our strong credentials. ” and appetite for expansion in these areas. ‘

In Madrid, SPB has strengthened its financial services practice with the hiring of partner Pablo Rodríguez Abelenda and an Associate and Of Counsel, all from Roca & Junyent. Abelenda was previously Head of Banking and Finance at Roca & Junyent and has extensive experience advising financial institutions, funds and organizations in all types of structured finance as well as regulatory matters.

Rafael Alonso, Managing Partner of the Madrid office, described Abelenda as “one of the leading specialists in structured finance in the Spanish market”.

Elsewhere, the DWF hired two partners in Paris to strengthen their competencies in EU consumer product and real estate law. Nicole Coutrelis joins DWF from Coutrelis & Associés, a company she founded. She is an expert in EU food and consumer product law for French and international clients and has extensive experience working for large food and agricultural companies.

Pierre-Nicolas Sanzey also joins DWF after starting the real estate practice in Stephenson Harwood’s Paris office. He has experience advising French and international real estate asset managers and investors on acquisitions and disposals, development projects and asset management.

Jean-François Mercadier, Managing Partner of DWF Paris, said: ‘Both are well known in their markets and will be an excellent addition to DWF’s business in France at a time of strong growth.’

Also new this week was Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, the UAE arm of the company, who hired King & Spalding’s partner Osama Audi along with two senior associates – one also from King & Spalding with another from Linklaters.

Audi advises clients in the areas of private equity, M&A, joint ventures, venture capital, complex corporate structuring and corporate finance. Commenting on his move, he said: ‘Baker McKenzie’s transactional powerhouse is unmatched in the market and very attractive for the cross-border nature of our practices.’

Dechert has achieved a private equity coup in London and hired partner Sam Whittaker from Kirkland & Ellis. This is an expansive period for the company’s London office as it is the third hiring in just two weeks of the arrival of Mark Thompson, also from Kirkland, and restructuring partner Kay Morley of Jones Day.

Whittaker is a seasoned corporate specialist with extensive private equity experience including M&A, divestments, co-investments, joint ventures, management equity arrangements and a range of portfolio transactions.

Goodwin has won its Frankfurt real estate team with partner Markus Käpplinger from Allen & Overy as a key employee. The highly rated Käpplinger focuses his activities on global M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions in the real estate sector.

‘Markus’ practice fits perfectly into our private investment funds and transactional and financial real estate offerings in Germany,’ said Stephan Kock, Chairman of Goodwin’s Frankfurt office. ‘This appointment significantly expands our ability to serve corporate and real estate clients and strengthens our position as a leading real estate and private equity team in the German market.’

Hill Dickinson made a significant hiring in Singapore and has named Iain Sharp as a partner. Sharp comes from the Gunvor Group, a large commodities trader, after positions at Dentons and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. With a broad spectrum of contentious and out-of-court expertise in the international trade and raw materials industries, Sharp will work closely with Hill Dickinson’s shipping and trade attorneys in London, Hong Kong and Greece.

Andrew Lee, Head of Hill Dickinson’s Singapore Office, said: ‘Singapore is one of Asia’s busiest trading ports and the largest commodities trading center in Asia, with a supportive regulatory framework, mild taxation, a well-developed financial center and well-established infrastructure. We have known and worked with Iain for many years. He is an excellent lawyer and we welcome his arrival to enhance our expertise for this vibrant maritime and trading community. ‘

In Brussels, Alston & Bird has reinforced its references as an employee by hiring partner Isabelle De Smedt from Nixon Peabody. De Smedt operates across borders and advises clients on corruption and fraud investigations in connection with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act and other government enforcement programs around the world.

Rich Willis, partner responsible for the London and Brussels offices of Alston & Bird, described De Smedt as “one of the leading compliance lawyers in the EU”. He added that she “will play a key role in helping customers on both sides of the Atlantic make sure they understand the global anti-corruption landscape and have strict compliance policies and procedures, especially across borders.”

Finally, JMW has expanded its London employment team after consulting the bar association for the latest hiring for a partner. Suzanne Staunton, an Employment, Discrimination and Cost Attorney, joins the firm after seven years with Guildhall Chambers in Bristol.

Senior Partner Joy Kingsley commented, ‘Suzanne’s decision to join JMW shows our ability to attract great lawyers. As the Covid pandemic is overcome, we expect the demand for expert employment law advice to increase significantly, and Suzanne’s expertise and experience will enable us to build on the team’s continued growth. ‘

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