Appointments: McDermott builds litigation capabilities and Rahman Ravelli revs up European growth

This week's collection of moves also sees Jones Day add to its global disputes practice and Clifford Chance name a new leader in Istanbul

Salome Lemasson of Rahman Ravelli and Michael Darowski of McDermott Will & Emery Images courtesy of Rahman Ravelli and McDermott

McDermott builds litigation and dispute resolution capabilities

McDermott Will & Emery has boosted its Paris litigation and dispute resolution team with the hire of partner Nicholas Faguer from US rival Paul Hastings.

The appointment is the latest to come from McDermott’s firm-wide push to build up its global disputes resolution practice to meet growing client demand.

“The current economic environment and legislative changes have increased our client’s litigation needs,” said McDermott Paris managing partner Gregoire Andrieux. “Nicolas’ experience complements our existing team and enables us to respond perfectly to this demand.”

Faguer joins McDermott after a decade at Paul Hastings, where he specialised in corporate and commercial litigation and advised clients across the financial, digital, telecommunications and energy sectors. Prior to joining the California-based firm, he worked for Proskauer and Rambaud Martel.

"McDermott's DNA, its trajectory over the last 10 years, its ambitions and vision, fit strongly with my professional direction,” Faguer said. “The firm's approach to litigation, its strong existing team and their specialised litigation skill in areas including employment, tax, intellectual property and public projects, are real assets.”

The firm also recently announced the arrival of fellow litigation and disputes partner Michael Darowski in London. He joins the firm after four years at Gowling WLG and brings with him extensive experience advising on high-value international commercial disputes resolved through arbitration.

Based in London, Darowski has accumulated notable international arbitration expertise and has been involved in national court proceedings in relation to all aspects of the arbitration process in several jurisdictions including Switzerland, Hong Kong, Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands.

McDermott’s London managing partner, Hamid Yunis, said Darowski’s international experience makes him an “excellent fit” for the firm’s growing London litigation and disputes bench. “London is one of the world’s main arbitration centres and we are well prepared to serve clients around the globe, across a span of sectors, jurisdictions and complex regulatory landscapes,” he added. “We are looking forward to drawing on Michael’s arbitration experience to help propel our clients’ businesses and support them with solution-driven results.”

Rahman Ravelli adds French-qualified litigator for European expansion

UK regulatory enforcement and white-collar crime specialist law firm Rahman Ravelli has added Salome Lemasson from Hogan Lovells to steer its growing operations in Europe.

Lemasson, who is a French-qualified white collar crime litigator, will join the firm’s Berlin office and head its activities across Europe and North and West Africa. She joined Hogan Lovells in Paris from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in 2016, where she worked as an associate in the firm’s white collar crime practice.

Aziz Rahman, Rahman Ravelli founder and senior partner, said Lemasson’s appointment was the firm’s first “obvious and visible” sign of its expansion beyond its UK headquarters.

“We have been looking for the right way to expand in Europe. It is about managing an increasing international workload and ensuring we represent – in the most robust way possible – those who need to work within the EU in the post-Brexit era,” he said. “Salome’s expertise further enhances our ability to represent clients in matters involving three key markets – the UK, US and EU – while continuing to take on major cases elsewhere in the world.”

Abreu names new managing partner

Portugal’s Abreu has overhauled its governance structure and appointed a new managing partner to lead the firm for the next two years, just a few weeks after it reported a 12% increase in revenue from the 12 months before the pandemic.

Ines Sequeira Mendes will succeed incumbent managing partner Duarte de Athayde, who will become chairman of Abreu’s board of directors, replacing partner Carmo Sousa Machado. Machado will move to the role of president of the firm’s supervision and compliance committee.

Mendes, who joined the firm as an associate in 2006 and made partner in 2012, has more than 20 years of experience practicing competition law and previously led the firm’s EU and competition law practice group. She also served on the previous iteration of the firm’s executive committee, where she was responsible for the reorganisation of the firm’s practice areas, industries and international desks.

"I take on this new responsibility in a particularly challenging global context, but one to which Abreu Advogados has been able to respond in the best possible way,” Mendes said.

“We are already a key player among the largest independent Portuguese law firms but we still have room to continue to innovate and grow. We have the technical and human skills that allow me to look into the future with special confidence.”

Abreu’s new executive committee will also include partners Maneul de Andrade Neves, Francisco Patricio and Antonia Pina. The firm’s refreshed board of directors will see partners Armando Martins Ferreira, Maria Dulce Soares, Manuel Santos Vitor and Alexandra join as non-executive members, with Jose Maria Correa de Sampaio joining as the board’s vice president.

Jones Days adds to ranks in Perth and Frankfurt

Jones Day has made two lateral partner hires in its global disputes practice, strengthening the US giant’s international litigation and arbitration offering.

Michael Lunberg joins from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and will be based in the firm’s Perth office, following the arrival of Amy Klasener from Dentons in Frankfurt within a matter of days.

Lunberg moves to Jones Day with more than 27 years of litigation experience and specialises in advising clients in the Australian energy and resources and engineering and construction sectors. He spent 17 years at Hong Kong giant King & Wood Mallesons’ Perth office before switching to Quinn Emanuel in 2018.

Meanwhile, Klasener joins Jones Day from her role as head of disputes for Dentons’ German arm, having moved from Shearman & Sterling in 2017. She is a seasoned arbitrations expert with notable experience in advising engineering and construction clients on disputes in the nuclear, energy, chemical and manufacturing sectors.

Jones Day’s global disputes practice leader, Greg Shumaker, said the hires reflect the firm’s “deep commitment” to building its “critical” international disputes roster.

“Our practice group functions as one worldwide team of lawyers who serve clients facing high-stakes business disputes in jurisdictions all over the globe,” he said.  “Amy and Michael are both highly experienced lawyers who have represented clients in complex international matters before tribunals, courts and other triers of fact on multiple continents. We are delighted they have chosen to join Jones Day and pleased to welcome them to our global team.”

Polish boost for CMS

CMS has added to its infrastructure and projects practice group in Poland with the arrival of partner Wladek Rzycki from Miller Canfield.

Rzycki joins the firm’s Warsaw office after two years at Miller Canfield, where he split his time between the Detroit-based firm’s locations in Warsaw and Chicago. Commenting on his move, Rzycki said he aims to help grow CMS’s existing procurement, defence and infrastructure practice in order to cover an “existing market gap” in the scope of coverage provided by law firms in the region.

Rzycki specialises in aerospace defence, industrial and infrastructure clients with regards to offsets, industrial programmes, technology transfers, defence and civil procurement, expert control, policy advice and strategic positions. He has led multi-jurisdictional legal teams, strategic negotiations and worked on a number of complex regulatory and compliance challenges in Poland and the US.

Dora Petranyi, CMS partner and Central and Eastern Europe managing director, said: “Thanks to his specialist knowledge, Wladek is well-positioned to support global clients involved in state procurement projects across the region. We look forward to working with him as we continue to strengthen our offering across Central and Eastern Europe.”

Alston & Bird bolsters London leveraged finance practice

Alston & Bird has hired partner Paul Simcock from Vinson & Elkins in London to boost its leveraged finance practice.

Simcock brings with him more than two decades of experience advising sponsors, lenders and borrowers on acquisitions, public takeovers and national and cross-border corporate debt mandates in Europe and the US across the energy, financial services, retail and health care sectors.

“Paul adds both depth and breadth of experience to our London finance team, strengthening our transatlantic corporate debt finance practice,” said Matthew Wrysinski, Alston & Bird partner and co-head of the firm’s finance group.

“Paul’s national and cross-border deal experience enhances our growing transactional capabilities in London and will help meet the demand from European and US clients for guidance on sophisticated, complex financings across the full range of leveraged finance mandates.”

Simcock is the fifth finance partner to join the US firm’s London office since it opened its doors in 2019 and the 11th partner overall. He moved to Vinson in 2018 after three years at US rival Jones Day and before that also spent time at Berwin Leighton Paisner and Skadden.

Clifford Chance names new managing partner in Istanbul

Itir Ciftci has been named the new managing partner of Magic Circle giant Clifford Chance’s Istanbul office.

Ciftci will be stepping into the role from her position as head of the firm’s Istanbul corporate M&A practice and taking over from Jared Grubb, who became managing partner of the firm’s Turkish office in 2016. Grubb, who previously led the firm in Kiev, will be staying on as a partner.

Prior to joining Clifford Chance in 2013, Ciftci spent over a decade at independent Turkish firm Herguner Bilgen Ozeke Attorney Partnership, which she joined in 1998. With 25 years of experience advising clients in mergers and acquisitions and corporate matters, Ciftci possesses extensive knowledge of the Turkish legal market and has acted in a number of landmark transactions in Turkey throughout her career.

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