27 Jul 2021

Appointments: MSI Global Alliance adds Big Four partner as CEO, Kennedys names EMEA managing partner

This week's collection of moves also sees RPC strengthen its international casualty insurance offering and a former L&L lawyer rejoin the firm in the wake of a dispute between its co-founders

Judith Selby of Kennedys and Andrew Leck of MSI Global Alliance Images courtesy of Kennedys and MSI Global Alliance

MSI Global Alliance adds EY associate partner  

Independent legal and accounting firm MSI Global Alliance (MSI) has tapped EY associate partner and business development leader Andrew Leck as its new chief executive officer, replacing incumbent Tim Wilson who spent seven year in the top role. 

Leck takes on the position after five years at EY in London, where he was responsible for EY’s growth and go-to market strategy supporting its client portfolio across different sectors. Before that, he spent more than 20 years in a variety of accounting roles including training, consultancy and leading market growth programmes. 

George Crowther, director of MSI’s board, said: “Andrew has a track record of successful business development, innovation and strategic leadership. His international business experience and detailed knowledge of the professional services sector, combined with strong leadership and communication skills, make him a great fit for MSI Global Alliance and we are delighted to welcome him as our new CEO.”

MSI currently boasts more than 250 member firms in more than 100 countries across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 

Kennedys names MP for newly-formed EMEA division 

Top 50 UK firm Kennedys has appointed Dublin-based partner Andrew McGahey as managing partner for the firm’s newly formed Europe, the Middle East and Africa division following a global structural review. 

McGahey, the managing partner of the firm’s Dublin office, joined Kennedys in 2018 as part of a team hire from US firm Mayer Brown in London. With more than 20 years’ experience advising on coverage disputes and defending insureds against third party claims, McGahey relocated to Ireland to lead the firm’s insurance team in Dublin, which stands as one of the largest dedicated insurance practices in Ireland. 

McGahey's practice focuses on advising insurers on claims involving directors and officers, financial institutions and professionals, including fund managers, trustees and solicitors. He specialises in handling claims made under warranty and indemnity and public officering of securities insurance policies, as well as property damage, business interruption and environmental liability claims. 

In his new role, McGahey will work closely with Denmark managing partner Morten Christensen, Peter Ellingham, who oversees the firm’s Oman and Dubai offices, and Israel managing partner Zvika Zelichov, as well as the firms’ partner network across the region in a bid to increase its footprint in the EMEA market. 

Nick Thomas, global senior partner of Kennedys, commented: “As Kennedys continues to grow in scale across our regions, we have reviewed our global structure and how it best aligns with our own clients’ views and international requirements. We have expanded our European remit and formed an EMEA region, so we can develop our presence in that market as one group and strengthen our network. Andrew, who has an established practice in Dublin, is a natural leader for this region.” 

McGahey added: “EMEA is a region where we consider that significant growth can be achieved, and particularly so since Brexit occurred. We wish to provide our existing and new clients with class-leading legal services across the region, by collaborating with the expertise we have across the network and globally”.

Kennedys also recently expanded its offering across the pond with the appointment of data privacy lawyer Judith Selby in New York. 

Selby joined as a partner from Hinshaw & Culbertson, where she was a partner in the firm’s data privacy and cyber security team. She has nearly three decades of experience in litigation and arbitration in the insurance coverage field, and has dedicated the last ten years of her career to cyber and data privacy, including cyber claims monitoring, incident response, advice concerning cyber and privacy best practice and preparation of technology-related contracts. 

She is the fifth partner to join Kennedys team in the Americas region this year and joins the firm shortly after White & Williams duo Joshua Mooney and Sean Mahoney in Philadelphia and Eric Hiller from Clyde & Co in Miami

The firm recently posted record revenue numbers, with its global turnover hitting £246m in the 12 months to the end of April, an 11% increase on the previous financial year. 

Squire Patton Boggs bolsters cross-border M&A team  

Squire Patton Boggs boosted its cross-border M&A and private equity bench with the hire of Charles Briand from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe in Paris. 

Briand joins the firm’s tax strategy and benefits practice group as a partner after three years practicing with US rival Orrick. Before that, he spent eight years working at big four giant EY’s Paris-based legal arm, EY Société d’Avocats. Briand gained US experience when he spent an initial 18 months at EY in New York before joining Ernst & Young and later returning to France to re-join EY in 2009. 

A tax lawyer by trade, Briand focuses his practice on corporate and transaction tax, as well as cross-border M&A, the tax aspects of financing arrangements and tax restructuring and integration projects. He is also experienced in handling private equity structure and taxation, private equity M&A and communication infrastructure projects. 

Carole Sporters, managing partner of Squire’s Paris office, said: “With the energy and skill set that he brings, he will play a key role in expanding both our domestic tax work and our cross-border support for clients, as we continue to implement strategic plans to strengthen our transactional capabilities, particularly in corporate and private equity.”

IP specialist returns to L&L Partners 

India’s L&L Partners has re-hired intellectual property lawyer Subhash Bhutoria as a partner in Delhi, according to a report by Asian Legal Business

Bhutoria, who was most recently running his own IP-focused practice, worked at L&L between 2015 and 2017. His hire brings L&L’s partner headcount up to 68. 

He returns to the firm after co-founder Mohit Saraf split off to form his own firm, Saraf & Partners, as a result of a bitter dispute with L&L’s other co-founder, Rajiv Luthra, which saw Luthra expel Saraf from the firm only for that decision to be stayed by the High Court subject to ongoing arbitration proceedings.

Alongside his experience in IP law, Bhutoria also focuses on art law. His clientele has included sports and gaming firms, fashion labels and lifestyle brands, galleries, artists and creative professionals, among others. 

Ashurst adds finance specialist 

Ashurst has appointed leveraged and acquisition finance expert Emma de Carle as a partner in its global loans practice in Sydney. 

De Carle brings with her a wealth of experience acting on behalf of companies, banks and financial sponsors in a range of complex finance transactions, including corporate finance and asset-based lending. 

She joins Ashurst from PWC Legal’s Australian arm, where she has worked as a partner since 2018. De Carle is also a former partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, with over 20 years’ experience with the firm. 

Brenton Key, global loans and global markets practice leader for Ashurst in Australia, said de Carle’s appointment aligns with its plans to grow its private equity and venture capital business thanks to her deep connections with private equity sponsors, domestic and international investment banks and credit funds. 

Jamie Ng, head of the firm’s funds, finance and restructuring practice, added: “Emma will be a great addition to the team, particularly as her sponsor side focus in leveraged and acquisition finance is strongly aligned with our strategy to grow the sponsor side of our business. Emma's appointment bolsters our position as one of the leading loan markets firms in Australia and will continue the momentum we have had in that part of our business for the past few years."

RPC boosts international casualty insurance offering 

RPC has strengthened its international casualty insurance platform with the arrival of Lucy Dyson from DAC Beachcroft in London. 

Dyson joins the firm as a partner and specialises in international casualty coverage and disputes. She trained and qualified at RPC before leaving the firm in 2010 to join Sedgewick Detert Moran and Arnold, eventually joining DAC Beachcroft in 2018, where she was promoted to partner last May. 

She brings with her a wealth of experience advising on domestic and international public, products and pollution liability losses across a number of sectors, including energy, mining, manufacturing, infrastructure and hospitality. 

Following her appointment, Dyson will work closely with the firm’s international risk team. RPC currently boasts 110 partners and more than 750 professionals across its offices in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bristol. 

The firm also recently broadened its global insurance platform with the launch of Global Access Lawyers, a six-firm international network intended to make jurisdiction-specific legal advice across different markets more accessible for insurer clients. 

Latham & Watkins adds funds specialist 

Latham & Watkins has hired private investment funds expert William ‘Beau’ Brashares as partner from Kirkland & Ellis in New York. 

Brashares joins the firm’s corporate department as a member of its investment funds and private equity practices after just over two decades working at Kirkland’s New York base. 

He specialises in representing fund sponsors in the formation and management of private investment funds, including buyout, venture, senior debt, industry-specific and funds-of-funds, as well as the structuring, operation and regulatory compliance of their management companies. 

Charles Ruck, global chair of Latham’s corporate department, said: “Continuing to expand our investment funds practice both in the US and globally is a strategic priority of the firm, and we are delighted to welcome Beau to the group. Furthermore, the market for funds representation is ripe for growth and Latham remains committed to growing in line with our clients’ needs.”

Kramer Levin names chief diversity and inclusion officer 

Nada Llewellyn is joining New York-based firm Kramer Levin as chief diversity and inclusion officer. The firm describes the C-level position as building on the commitment it made to D&I back in 2007 when it first hired a director to focus on diversity initiatives.

Llewellyn joins the firm after 16 years at St. John’s University, most recently serving as chief diversity officer, associate vice president for human resources and deputy general counsel, in which capacity she oversaw the university’s D&I initiatives and the human resources department. Prior to that, she practiced as an associate in the New York office of Am Law 100 firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

Kramer Levin co-managing partners Howard Spilko and Paul Schoeman commented that Llewellyn’s appointment “represents a significant enhancement of our leadership team and underscores our commitment to diversity as well as our resolve to accelerate our progress as a firm and help create real forward momentum in the legal industry.”

Llewellyn will join the team of officers led by COO Mat Rosswood, who added that she “brings precisely the experience and talents required to help us set and achieve diversity and inclusion goals that not only are consistent with overall strategy but help promote it.”