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Global firms bolster ranks with significant hires

There was a strong international flavour to this week’s round of lateral partner appointments, with firms making key hires in Europe, Asia and the USA.

Dechert has boosted its German private equity practice with the high-profile recruitment of ex-Allen & Overy partner Dominik Stühler in Munich. A corporate and securities partner, Stühler’s practice will see him focus on domestic and cross-border deals, both M&A and private equity. Among his notable mandates, he advised PAI Partners on the €1.4bn acquisition of Armacell Group from Blackstone.

Ashurst has pulled off a heavyweight hire in Frankfurt, bringing in former Deutsche Bank general counsel Florian Drinhausen as a corporate partner. Prior to his in-house stint, the vastly experienced Drinhausen was head of corporate at Linklaters.

Backed by 24 years’ of corporate governance, M&A, investigations and anti-money laundering knowledge, Drinhausen is described by Ashurst’s global head of corporate, Jason Radford, as ‘an impressive practitioner’. Derk Opitz, managing partner of Ashurst’s Munich and Frankfurt offices, added: ‘Florian has a standout reputation and a deep understanding of the financial and other industries in Germany which will be invaluable to our firm’s success.’

White & Case has hired partner Rahul Guptan in Singapore to bolster its global capital markets practice and India group. Previously co-head of Clifford Chance’s India group, Guptan advises Indian and international companies, including investment banks and private equity houses, on a range of public and private transactions.

John Vetterli, head of White & Case’s global capital markets team, said: ‘We expect to see a continued increase in Indian companies raising capital through cross-border offerings in the next couple of years. Together with our leading equity and debt capital markets practices in the US and the UK, the addition of an experienced India-focused capital markets partner in Asia-Pacific will make us the firm of choice to advise on these transactions.’

In London, Kirkland & Ellis has expanded its tax practice by appointing partner Peter Abbott from Macfarlanes. Described as a ‘market-leading adviser’ by Jon Ballis, chair of Kirkland’s executive committee, Peter regularly provides tax advice on private equity transactions and public and private M&A. He also advises investment fund clients on structuring private equity and special opportunity investments, and on related refinancings and exits.

Also in London, Kennedys has hired a trio of partners from BLM’s catastrophic injury team led by BLM’s former head of catastrophic injury in the City, Antony French. He handles complex, large and catastrophic injury claims arising out of road traffic accidents and casualty claims. He is joined by fellow complex injury partners Deirdre Burgess and Anthony Rawlins, as well as a team of six associates and a litigation assistant.

Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas said: ‘These latest hires demonstrate Kennedys’ commitment to having the best expertise in the right places. We are always looking ahead to see where we can be best supporting our clients and ensuring their needs are met.’

Finally, in the US, HFW has boosted its Houston insurance team with the hire of partner Amanda Kujda from Hall Maines Lugrin. She specialises in insurance disputes, as well as commercial litigation involving breach of contract action and product liability.

Kujda said: ‘It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to join one of the world’s leading insurance law firms. The size, breadth and international reach of HFW’s insurance group gives me a great platform to grow my practice and to really elevate the service I’m able to offer to my clients.’

Tom.baker@legalbusiness.co.uk


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