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lull sees Wilson Sonsini and Ashurst make only moves

London saw few significant hires over the last week as the City recruitment market underwent a lull, with Ashurst and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati  making the only strategic moves. Meanwhile, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Clyde & Co both looked to Paris to strengthen their benches.

Ashurst announced the hire of Markjan van Schaardenburgh from Linklaters to its City corporate practice. With considerable experience in European and Sub Sahara African private equity transactions, van Schaardenburgh represents a significant addition for the firm.

Commenting on the hire, head global head of corporate Jason Radford said: ‘We are excited to be welcoming Markjan to Ashurst – he is a well-regarded and top-tier M&A professional. As we continue to build on our private capital and funds industry capability and European network, Markjan’s significant expertise across Europe and Africa make him an excellent addition to the team. Our investment in public and private M&A and private capital is a key strategic priority for the firm.’

Elsewhere, Wilson Sonsini hired the former COO of Checkout.com (and GC Powerlister) Joshua Kaplan as a means to bolster its ability to advise in the global fintech space. Kaplan will join Wilson Sonsini as a partner in its London office, and will look to advise fintech companies around the world on how best to enter the US market and navigate the country’s regulatory landscape.

Checkout.com is a payment processing company that has deals with the likes of Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay and PayPal, and boasts customers such as Deliveroo, TransferWise, and Samsung. Kaplan joined the company as general counsel, and later chief operating officer, three years ago. Wilson Sonsini is one of the London-based fintech company’s major legal advisers, alongside Baker McKenzie, Ashurst, Macfarlanes, and Travers Smith.

Elsewhere, disputes powerhouse Quinn Emanuel strengthened in Paris again, two weeks after the firm hired former French National Financial Prosecutors Office lawyer Eric Russo.

The firm has now recruited tax litigator Stéphane Chaouat to head up its tax disputes practice in the city. Chaouat has spent the past 17 years as a partner in Weil Gotshal’s Paris office, including the last eight years as managing partner. Chaouat has experience as a trial litigator, best known for resolving high-stakes, complex tax contingencies, disputes, and negotiations.

Thomas Voisin, managing partner of Quinn Emanuel’s Paris office, commented: ‘Stéphane is a terrific addition to our firm. He reinforces Quinn Emanuel’s unparalleled criminal and white-collar tax platform, both in Paris and internationally.’

Clyde & Co also made moves in Paris, hiring two partners to its international arbitration group. Hery Ranjeva and Ivan Urzhumov will join the firm from Foley Hoag having previously worked together at Winston Strawn, operating as a team for over 10 years.

Ranjeva concentrates his practice on international public law, international arbitration and litigation matters, and frequently represents sovereign states, companies and individuals before French and Malagasy national courts and tribunals. Urzhumov, meanwhile, focuses his practice on international arbitration and litigation. He has experience working on commercial and investment arbitration cases under ICC, ICSID and UNCITRAL rules.

Nadia Darwazeh, head of arbitration at Clyde & Co’s Paris office, commented: ‘Hery and Ivan’s combined deep know-how and geographical focus on francophone Africa and Eastern Europe not only strengthen our arbitration practice but complement the range of expertise we are able to offer our clients in the Paris office and beyond.’

Finally, HFW has boosted its Australia practice with the hire of a five-lawyer construction team in Sydney led by senior partner Antony Riordan from local firm Colin Biggers & Paisley.

The latest hires continue HFW’s ambitious growth strategy in Australia, and follow the arrival in 2019 of a specialist eight-lawyer workplace relations team, and the recent recruitment of regulatory and product liability specialist Michael Maxwell and workplace relations partner Charmaine Tsang.

HFW has also promoted four new partners in Australia since 2018, and moved its Sydney office to larger premises in September to accommodate its continued growth.

thomas.alan@legalbusiness.co.uk


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