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05 January 2021

King & Spalding hires pair of construction partners from Reed Smith in London

US firm builds on earlier hires in Dubai as it bids to be 'global firm of choice' for complex disputes

By Ben Rigby

Peter James Sampson; Shutterstock

Two experienced construction partners, Vincent Rowan and Shareena Edmonds, have left Reed Smith to join King & Spalding in London. 

Both are experienced energy, infrastructure, and construction lawyers, specialising in arbitration in those fields, particularly projects disputes. 

Rowan leaves Reed Smith after spending a decade at the firm as partner, having joined from Pinsent Masons in 2010, where he had spent just shy of a quarter-century, rising from trainee solicitor to making partner in 1996, with stints in Singapore, Hong Kong, and London.

Edmonds, meanwhile, was a partner at Reed Smith for six years, having joined that firm in 2010 as a senior associate, following Rowan from Pinsents, where she trained and qualified in 2001. 

Both partners cited King & Spalding’s extensive projects disputes practice as their reason for leaving, in being attracted by its “clear strategy to offer clients the benefits of a world-class arbitration practice alongside a large and specialised construction disputes team”.

Both have a contractor and owner client base, with strong Asian and Middle Eastern experience. The duo will work closely with fellow construction, energy and infrastructure disputes partners Patrick McPherson and Randall Walker in Dubai, both of whom joined from CMS in November 2020.

The new arrivals were hailed as “a major boost for our ambition to be the global firm of choice for the resolution of claims arising out of the largest and most complex project failures,”  by Mike Stenglein, chair of the firm’s construction and engineering disputes team. 

“To be able to recruit partners of the quality of Vince and Shareena is a sign of the ongoing commitment of the firm to invest in London,” added Tom Sprange QC, the firm’s London office managing partner, noting London would continue to recruit actively in disputes and other areas. 

The hires, Sprange added, came alongside the recent promotion to partner of London construction disputes lawyer Andrea Stauber, as part of the firm’s 16-partner December promotion round.

The firm also hired Ben Emmerson QC, a public international law specialist, in November 2020 from Monckton Chambers, Emmerson having joined that set in January 2019, ending his long-term association with Matrix Chambers.

This week the Atlanta-based firm re-elected Robert Hays as chairman for a sixth term. He originally took up the role in 2006.

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