01 Jun 2020

Squire Patton Boggs hires six-strong commodities and shipping team from HFW in London

Top 20 US firm also secures corporate partner from UK rival following on from double hire in Australia

London: Squire's commodities and shipping practice launch was unveiled in November off the back of Singapore hires lovemydesigns/Shutterstock

Squire Patton Boggs has announced the hiring of a six-lawyer commodities and shipping team in London plus a corporate partner and an associate, all from HFW.

The commodities team is led by partners Chris Swart, a former member of HFW’s management and global strategy boards, and Katie Pritchard; while former head of corporate Brian Gordon has also moved across to the top 20 US firm.

The hires follow the securing of two additional corporate partners from HFW in Perth, which was announced in March.

The arrival of Swart, Pritchard and their team follows the launch of Squire's commodities and shipping practice last November, when it secured partners Barry Stimpson and Jessica Kenworthy from Reed Smith in Singapore.

Swart was a partner at HFW for nearly 15 years, where he advised on commodities, shipping and litigation, including international arbitration.  

He said:  “Even before Covid-19 most commodities industries were restructuring as a result of technology, regulation and finance, with the legal services industry being challenged to adapt to provide much needed support. Now we are seeing an explosion in the demand for legal support and restructuring.”

Pritchard joined HFW as an associate in 2004 from barristers’ chambers 20 Essex Street, where she was a pupil barrister. She was made up to partner in 2011.

Her practice is focused on international commodity trading and shipping and international commercial arbitration and litigation.

Joining with Swart and Pritchard are director John Rollason, senior associate Gabriella Martin, and associates Joseph Magoon and Patrick Greaney. 

Meanwhile, Brian Gordon joins after more than 10 years as a partner HFW, where he was head of corporate and corporate finance in Singapore and specialised in distressed and special situations in the mining and oil and gas sectors covering public and private M&A IPOs and fundraisings.

His appointment follows that of fellow HFW corporate partners Simon Adams and Caroline Brown, who joined Squire Patton Boggs’ Perth office from HFW in March.

In January, Squire announced the opening of an office in Milan, its 15th in Europe and its 45th overall.