Appointments: Willkie adds private equity expert in Paris, Mayer Brown names new leadership in DC

This week's roundup also sees moves at Shearman & Sterling, Eversheds Sutherland, DLA Piper, Payne Hicks Beach and Squire Patton Boggs

Elizabeth Espín Stern and Tiana Rambatomanga

Willkie beefs up Paris asset management team

Willkie Farr & Gallagher has hired Tiana Rambatomanga from Stephenson Harwood as a partner in Paris. 

Rambatomanga will join the firm’s asset management group, where she will work closely with veteran partner Nathalie Duguay to further develop Willkie’s asset management platform in Paris. The duo have maintained a professional relationship going back to 2004, the firm said in a statement. 

Rambatomanga’s practice covers all segments of private equity, with a specific focus on infrastructure, debt and real estate. Some of her clients include Paris-based investment management companies Mirova and Peugeot Invest, as well as the European Investment Bank, the lending arm of the European Union. 

She joined Stephenson Harwood from Clifford Chance in 2017 to help launch the UK firm’s Paris practice and has previously held roles at Ashurst and King & Wood Mallesons. 

Rambatomanga is also notably a member of Level 20, a European association that promotes the presence of women in the private equity industry, and a member of the legal committee of France Invest. 

Willkie’s global asset management group consists of more than 90 attorneys, while its private equity practice boasts 45 attorneys in New York, London and Paris. 

Eduardo Fernandez and Christophe Garaud, co-managing partners of the Paris office, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Tiana. Her arrival is the culmination of our ambition to provide our clients in Paris and abroad with one of the best fund structuring platforms in Europe, echoing our US platform, and demonstrates our continued commitment to providing excellent service to our private equity clients. We are one of the very few firms that can serve all types of participants in the private equity industry in any type of transaction.”

Willkie has been taking some big swings stateside as of late, including a 36-lawyer team hire from Venable earlier this week to bulk up its new office in Los Angeles. 

Mayer Brown appoints DC head

In US news, Mayer Brown has appointed Elizabeth Espín Stern as managing partner of its Washington DC office. 

She succeeds Raj De, who has held the role since 2019. De, who was recently appointed to the Los Angeles-based firm’s eight-person global management committee, will continue to lead the its global cybersecurity and data privacy practice and co-lead the national security practice. 

Stern joined the firm in 2014 as the head of the global mobility and migration practice. She leads her team of lawyers towards helping clients establish and maintain global compliance and management programs to move executive and professional work corps across borders around the world. 

Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Stern spent more than a decade at Baker McKenzie, including three years as the firm’s DC office managing partner. Before that, she spent 20 years at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. 

The firm noted that Stern has built one of the firm’s most inclusive practice groups; her team is both multigenerational and multilingual and includes women, LGBTQ+ and ethnically diverse lawyers. Stern is also a member of Mayer Brown’s global partnership board and serves as co-leader of the firm’s Covid-19 response team. 

“I’m honored to lead the Washington DC office — the region is home to many of our clients’ most high-stakes and complex legal challenges and pivotal to our global strategy,” Stern said. 

Mayer Brown’s DC office boasts more than 200 lawyers and covers a broad range of practice areas, including antitrust, congressional investigations, cybersecurity and data privacy, financial services regulatory and enforcement and government contracts, among others. 

Shearman promotes M&A lawyer in Singapore 

Shearman & Sterling has elevated M&A lawyer Richard Porter to the partnership. The promotion will see Porter, who has spent his entire career with the New York firm in London, relocate to Singapore to bolster its transactional offering in the city-state. 

Porter’s experience covers cross-border corporate transactions, including public and private M&A, joint ventures, equity issues and restructurings. His appointment follows that of Singapore-based lawyer David Clinch as a partner in the firm’s project development and finance group. 

David Beveridge, senior partner at Shearman, said Porter’s promotion is part of the firm’s long-term strategy to build out its core practices with home-grown talent on top of lateral hires. 

“Richard has made valuable contributions to our global mergers and acquisitions practice, and he will enhance our offering in Asia,” he added. 

The appointment follows Shearman’s 14-strong promotional round in July that included nine partners across its offices in Milan, London, Dubai, New York, Abu Dhabi and Tokyo. 

Payne Hicks Beach adds disputes depth in London

City law firm Payne Hicks Beach has hired dispute resolution lawyer Paul Dorrans from Simmons & Simmons as a partner in London. 

Dorrans brings with him more than 15 years of experience advising on complex financial services disputes, contentious regulatory investigations, fraud and financial crime in a number of jurisdictions including Europe, the Middle East and the broader Asia Pacific region. 

He has also spent time in-house on secondment to several commercial and investment banks in Hong Kong and London. Prior to joining Simmons & Simmons in 2011, Dorrans worked as corporate counsel at the Australian and New Zealand Banking Group, commonly known as ANZ, as part of the litigation and investigations team. 

In his new role at Payne Hicks Beach, Dorrans will focus on growing his international dispute resolution practice in tandem with the firm’s private client, property and family teams on a global basis. 

“Payne Hicks Beach’s dispute resolution department has an outstanding reputation and I‘m excited to be joining the firm. I look forward to working alongside the team in their respective fields and advising existing and prospective clients on a range of financial services disputes and regulatory investigations,” Dorrans commented. 

Eversheds builds out secretarial team in Ireland

Eversheds Sutherland has appointed Liam Boyle as head of the firm’s company secretarial in Ireland. 

Boyle joins the firm in Dublin from his role as a manager in the company secretarial department of regional corporate law firm LK Shields. Before joining LK Shields in 2017, Boyle worked for two leading global corporate service providers, including TMF Group, and spent a year at KPMG’s Ireland branch. 

His experience covers company secretarial, compliance, corporate governance, anti-money laundering and advising directors on their statutory duties and obligations. In recent years, Boyle has also advised a number of high profile international clients on establishing operations in Ireland and on navigating the Irish legal and regulatory landscape. 

Alan Connell, managing partner of Eversheds Sutherland Ireland, commented: “With his breadth and depth of expertise, dedication and technical advisory skills, Liam is well placed to help us not only meet, but indeed stay ahead, of the needs of our domestic and international client base. Liam will make a significant contribution to our firm in this important role, and I would like to wish him every success for the future.”

DLA Piper hires former EU commissioner in advisory role 

DLA Piper has landed a big fish in Brussels with former European commissioner Phil Hogan, who joins the firm as a senior strategic and political advisor. 

Hogan served as the European commissioner for agriculture and rural development from 2014 and 2019 and later the European commissioner for trade until his resignation last August. He has held a seat in the Irish parliament for 25 years and a variety of high-level offices within it, including minister for the environment and secretary of state in the ministry of finance. 

The firm said Hogan’s appointment will further strengthen its global advisory and government affairs capabilities as he spearheads its growing team of policy legal and sectoral experts who will be tasked with offering clients integrated strategic advice on regulatory, political and corporate risk management issues. 

Commenting on his appointment, Hogan said: “Global businesses are operating in increasingly challenging environments around the world and this will only increase over the coming years. Their ability to understand and adapt to international public policy and societal trends will make the difference between success and failure and DLA Piper’s commitment to providing advice in this area is compelling. This is an exciting time to be joining a firm with a truly global reach and focus on the future needs of its clients”

Squire hires sports lawyers in Dubai

Squire Patton Boggs has boosted its sports and entertainment practice with the arrival of partner Steve Bainbridge in Dubai. 

Bainbridge joins from leading regional firm Al Tamimi & Company, where he was head of the sports law and events management practice. Moving across with him is senior associate Andrew Moroney, who worked with Bainbridge at Al Tamimi. 

Having trained at DLA Piper in Canada, Bainbridge practiced in North America and later in Asia before relocating to the Middle East in 2008. His practice covers a wide range of transactions across different sports including cycling, tennis, cricket, football, horse racing, motorsports and triathlon. 

He represented clients on matters involving sports regulation and governance, stadium naming rights and sponsorship deals, broadcasting, merchandising and licensing agreements and anti-match fixing protocols, among others. 

Prior to joining Al Tamimi, Bainbridge spent two years as a partner at Canadian firm Stewart McKelvey and five years at leading Japanese law firm Nishimura & Asahi in Tokyo. 

Stephen Sampson, global leader of Squire’s sports and entertainment group, said: “Our practice has long-standing client relationships with government ministries and agencies, sports bodies, clubs, players and coaches in the GCC and our strategy is to significantly grow our work in the region. With the arrival of Steve and Andrew, the practice has taken a major leap forward, to become the leading practice in the Middle East.”

“It’s great to have Steve and Andrew with us. Their reputation in the sports sector in the region is second to none and their extensive cross-border commercial experience will be of great benefit to our varied client-base. Sport is booming in the Middle East and there are numerous opportunities for businesses to get involved,” added UAE managing partner Tom Wilson. 

The firm added to its global sports and entertainment practice last year when Warren Phelops and Mike Llewellyn joined Squire from K&L Gates in London.


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