Squire Patton Boggs adds partners across UK from four firms

Transatlantic firm boosts finance, litigation, environmental and tax bench with hires from rivals including Eversheds Sutherland and PwC

Chris Hastings and Ellie Pinnells Images courtesy of Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs (SPB) has added four partners across London and Birmingham from rival firms including Eversheds Sutherland and PwC.  

The London hires include finance lawyer Chris Hastings, who joins from Eversheds Sutherland; Georgie Messent, PwC’s former director and head of environmental and sustainability; and tax lawyer David Nisbet, who joins from Osborne Clarke.  

SPB has also hired Ellie Pinnells from Fieldfisher to lead its Birmingham litigation team.  

“Our practice in the UK has grown at a double-digit pace over the last four years,” said European managing partner Jonathan Jones. “We continue to invest in our future with these professionals and others advancing through the business.”  

Hastings focuses on leveraged and acquisition financing, working with private equity and their portfolio companies and corporate borrowers. Recent work has included acting for Aurelius on its carve-out of UK property services provider TM Group from Dye & Durham; and for Pollen Street Capital on the acquisition of talent assessment software platform Assessio.  

His hire continues SPB’s private equity growth push, which has seen the practice treble in size across the UK and Europe over the past two years as well as the launch of PE-focused offices in Dublin and Amsterdam.  

Meantime Messent brings 25 years of experience advising on environmental regulatory issues, including chemical and carbon regulation, as well as corporate and property transactions. Before joining PwC in 2020 she was head of environment at Pinsent Masons and earlier was a partner at Bond Dickinson and Burges Salmon.  

Rob Elvin, head of SPB’s environmental, safety and health practice in the UK and Europe, said Messent’s expertise in ESG reporting and extended producer responsibility regulations for products across Europe and the UK would also enable her to work with the firm’s ESG group to develop its broader services.  

“She will work closely with our European ESG lead in Frankfurt, Andreas Fillmann, and our European public policy practice, particularly the team led by Thomas Delille – which has a strong EU-wide reputation in this space advising on the waste, packaging, plastics, ESG governance and sustainability regulations flowing from Brussels,” Elvin said.  

Nisbet has joined the firm’s tax strategy and benefits practice after nearly seven years at Osborne Clarke. He specialises in tax and structuring in the funds and private equity sector, advising corporates, funds and financial sponsors as well as family offices and ultra high net worth individuals on UK and cross-border investments, M&A, joint ventures, fund formations, reorganisations and financing transactions.

Finally Pinnells is a commercial litigator with experience leading cross-border teams on complex international cases and specialisms in group and competition litigation. She led the German desk at Fieldfisher and her client base, which covers the manufacturing, engineering and construction sectors, includes many companies domiciled or operating in Germany.

Tom Durrant, managing partner in Birmingham, said Pinnells’ hire comes at a time of high demand for the firm’s litigation services.

“We’ve also seen new opportunities to win disputes work coming out of the expansion of our corporate practice in Birmingham, so she will be a very welcome addition to our team,” he added.  

The firm’s Birmingham corporate bench has grown to 17 lawyers over the past 12 months according to Pirical. Durrant rejoined the firm at the start of last year from Gateley, where he led the national corporate practice.  

Elsewhere recent arrivals include M&A and private equity partners Jeroen Sombezki and Selma Baouch, who joined the firm last year from Dutch firm Van Doorne and Taylor Wessing respectively to open an office in Amsterdam.

That followed the firm adding M&A and private equity partner Dennis Agnew from Pinsent Masons to open an office in Dublin last May, the launch of which was described as a “milestone” in the firm’s global expansion by Squire’s chair and global CEO Mark Ruehlmann. 

SPB brought in gross revenue of $1.24bn last year according to data from American Lawyer, up from $1.16bn in 2022 and placing it 41st on the Am Law 200 ranking. It currently has more than 40 offices across 21 countries.  

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