King & Spalding names new managing partners in Singapore and Frankfurt

Dual appointments reaffirm commitment to international practice growth post-pandemic

Andrew Brereton and Axel Schilder

King & Spalding (K&S) has appointed new managing partners for overseas offices in Frankfurt and Singapore with both new incumbents eying growth opportunities.

Tax partner Axel Schilder is to steer the Atlanta firm’s sole German office as the next managing partner of its office in Frankfurt while finance and restructuring partner Andrew Brereton has been named office managing partner in Singapore. 

Schilder takes over the position in Frankfurt from current managing partner and office founding partner Mario Leissner, who has stepped down from the position and left K&S for health reasons, according to the firm. 

Leissner had led the Atlanta-based firm’s Frankfurt office since its inception in 2007, when he joined K&S from his role as general counsel for Sal. Oppenheim prior to the private bank’s acquisition by Deutsche Bank in 2009. 

In his new role, Schilder will take charge of K&S’ 14-lawyer Frankfurt team, which includes six partners, five counsel, two associates and one senior lawyer. 

Schilder has been with the firm since 2012 and currently leads its German tax team. He focuses his practice on real estate transactions, including financing structures and fund structuring, the firm said.

Prior to his time at K&S, Schilder began his legal career at Allen & Overy in 2003 and worked at Paul Hastings as an international counsel before moving to Beiten Burkhardt in 2009, where he was promoted to partner. 

Commenting on the appointment, Schilder said: “Our Frankfurt office celebrates its 15th anniversary in September so it’s an honour to take up the managing partner mantle at such a significant milestone.” Schilder added the firm intends to expand its German offering to include deeper capabilities in its local corporate, private equity and family practices. 

Brereton, meanwhile, takes over for Kelly Malone. He joined the firm in Singapore in 2019 from Clifford Chance. Over the last two decades, he has built up a practice focusing on acquisition finance, structured lending, fund financing, trade finance, project finance and reserve-based lending. 

The firm’s team in Singapore consists of 32 lawyers, including recent lateral addition Nils Eliasson, who joined K&S’ international arbitration practice as a partner in April, and Parveet Singh Gandoak, who joined the firm’s M&A practice from Skadden in November. 

Brereton pointed to the two hires as an example of the firm’s current growth strategy in Singapore, which hinges on expanding its traditional areas of strength like energy and arbitration. 

“As we emerge from the Covid pandemic, we continue to focus on the most complex and challenging transactions and disputes in the region,” Brereton said. 

“We have closed a number of high-profile transactions in the first half of 2022, and expect to make further strategic investments to strengthen our team further and win even more of this work going forward.”

The firm delivered a robust financial performance last year, when revenue jumped by 20% to hit $1.83bn against a 25% rise in profit per equity partner from  $3.5m to $4.37m. Its net income also skyrocketed 25% from $713m to $896m during the 2021 financial year.

Alongside its Frankfurt arm, K&S also has European office in London, Paris, Brussels and Geneva. Its Asia presence also extends to Tokyo and it has three offices in the Middle East.

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