02 Mar 2022

Squire Patton Boggs adds European white collar head as part of group hire in London and Paris

US firm boosts white collar and investigations team in Europe amid steep rise in corporate crime and fraud cases

Hannah Laming

Squire Patton Boggs has added two partners and a director to its white collar team in London along with a counsel in Paris as it moves to build its European investigations practice. 

Hannah Laming has joined the US firm as a partner and head of its European government investigations and white collar team from disputes firm Peters & Peters, while Wayne Barnes has joined as a partner from Fulcrum Chambers. 

The duo will be joined in London by Ben Ticehurst, who is coming aboard as a director from Howard Kennedy. Squire has also hired Marion Seranne, who is joining as counsel in Paris from EBL Lexington Avocats. 

Kevin McCart, leader of Squire’s global government investigations and white collar practice, said the latest hires — which bring the firm’s white collar team tally in London up to five — underscore its ambition to grow the practice in the face of a steep rise in significance and volume of white collar work in Europe. 

“Hannah is one of the leading investigative lawyers in Europe and the right person to lead our European practice into its next phase of growth,” McCart said.

Laming joins Squire after more than a decade at Peters & Peters, where she most recently worked as a partner after serving as a barrister between 2010 and 2014. She had previously held roles at the Financial Services Authority and the Serious Fraud Office before landing at Peters & Peters in 2010. 

Barnes, meanwhile, spent three years at Howard Kennedy, where he was a legal director. A criminal barrister by trade, he specialises in conducting complex internal and corporate investigations across multiple jurisdictions related to bribery and corruption, fraud, false accounting and insider trading, among other areas. 

The firm said Barnes brings particular expertise in the sports sector thanks to his work supporting national governing bodies and sporting institutions at national and Olympic levels through white collar investigations. 

With the new arrivals, Squire’s government investigations and white collar practice consists of more than 35 lawyers across 19 countries. 

Squire’s European managing partner, Jonathan Jones, added that the new arrivals would “take our practice to new heights at a time when clients are facing increased scrutiny in a shifting regulatory landscape”. 

The list of other firms shopping for white collar talent lately includes Allen & Overy, which hired RPC’s head of civil fraud Andy McGregor last month in a bid to exploit the steep rise in London fraud cases. McGregor joined A&O a couple of weeks after Norton Rose Fulbright’s EMEA disputes head Michael Godden joined the firm’s financial services litigation team in London to boost its European finance litigation bench. 

A report by FTI Consulting published in September revealed that businesses have been scrambling to brace themselves ahead of an anticipated spike in investigations as regulatory conditions continue to shift in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some 80% of the 2,800 surveyed companies said they needed to fundamentally alter their business models in order to restore competitiveness and mitigate risk in the face of a new era of public scrutiny. 

 

 

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