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Revolving doors: Cleary makes Bay Area move as HogLov and Squire enhance Africa offerings

In a bold Bay Area play, Cleary Gottlieb has announced that it is opening in California with the arrival of renowned antitrust trial lawyer Heather Nyong’o and the relocation of a team of partners and associates from its New York and Washington DC offices to Palo Alto and San Francisco.

Nyong’o was partner-in-charge of WilmerHale’s San Francisco office and leader of its California antitrust and competition practice. She joins long-standing Cleary antitrust partners Brian Byrne and George Cary, white-collar partner Jennifer Kennedy Park, M&A partner Benet O’Reilly, and a team of six associates.

This move builds on Cleary’s many decades representing California’s leading technology companies, private equity firms, and other clients on transformative global antitrust, M&A, enforcement, and capital market matters.

‘We have long advised California clients on their most complex, sophisticated matters. The shifting regulatory environment and evolving needs of businesses across sectors adds compelling reasons to provide these clients with on-the-ground support,’ said Cleary managing partner Michael Gerstenzang. ‘We’ve assembled an outstanding team with the arrival of Heather and relocation of Brian, George, Jen, Benet, and a half-dozen fantastic associates. We will build on this strong foundation by expanding our Bay Area presence with additional exceptional talent in the coming months.’

Also in the US, Clifford Chance has appointed US and international tax specialist Paul Seraganian as a partner based in New York. Seraganian, who joins from Canadian Global 100 firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, where he was managing partner of its New York office, has more than 20 years’ experience in advising on the tax aspects of cross-border corporate transactions, securities offerings, financings and funds and investment management. He has significant experience in advising clients regarding tax-free and taxable reorganisations and acquisitions as well as structuring, operating and unwinding joint venture arrangements.

Head of CC’s US tax, pensions and employment group, David Moldenhauer, said: ‘As we observe the continued internationalisation of business and investment transactions and the related increase in the complexity of these transactions and client structures, Paul’s arrival to the firm further secures our ability to provide first-class advice on critical tax issues.’

Meanwhile, Hogan Lovells has announced the hire of Pinsent Masons partner Chris Green as it expands its corporate and finance capabilities in Johannesburg.

Green leads Pinsents’ South African transactional services practice, focusing on blue chip cross-border corporate M&A work across sectors that include consumer goods, financial services, telecoms and energy & natural resources for clients such as Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, AB InBev and BASF.

Commenting on the appointment, Johannesburg managing partner, Wessel Badenhorst, said: ‘We present the ideal platform for Chris to grow both domestic and worldwide relationships, significantly enhancing and complementing our expertise as well as our brand and presence in South Africa more generally.’

Meanwhile Squire Patton Boggs has enhanced its Africa offering and continued the expansion of its international disputes practice with the addition of Timi Balogun, an Africa projects and disputes specialist, who joins the firm in London as a partner.

Balogun has extensive experience in dispute resolution and international arbitration, acting for African governments, state entities and national oil and gas companies in high-profile disputes. He spent six years as general counsel of The Infrastructure Bank, formerly the Urban Development Bank of Nigeria, in Abuja, before joining Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle in London in 2015, where he was later promoted to partner.

He recently represented the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in commercial arbitration proceedings regarding disputes over oil lifting entitlements and was part of a team of lawyers that defended Nigeria in efforts to resist the recognition of a $10bn award in favor of P&ID, a BVI entity.

Peter Stewart, co-coordinator of Squire Patton Boggs’ Africa practice, said: ‘Timi is a rare commodity. In addition to his disputes expertise, he is a skilled and experienced project finance practitioner with a strong in-house counsel background. He is also qualified in both the UK and Nigeria, operating at a high level in both jurisdictions and globally. All of these qualities, combined with his deep knowledge of energy projects, make him a natural to take on a leadership role in our Africa practice and serve as a great asset for our clients.’

King & Spalding has boosted its Singapore corporate team with the arrival of Parveet Singh Gandoak from Skadden, where he was counsel.

Gandoak joins King & Spalding as a partner in the firm’s corporate, finance and investments (CFI) practice group, where he will focus on advising multinationals, sovereign wealth funds, private equity sponsors and venture capital firms on cross-border M&A and other deal-related activity in a range of sectors including tech, media, telecoms, energy and insurance.

Todd Holleman, head of King & Spalding’s CFI practice, said: ‘Parveet’s blend of international experience and entrepreneurial spirit further enhances our Asia M&A and private equity practices. He has a strong background in advising blue-chip clients on some of their largest and most complex transactions in south-east Asia and India, which taps straight into our existing transactional practice.’

In London, Kirkland & Ellis has recruited Ashurst private equity tax partner Alexander Cox. Cox focuses on the structuring of investment funds, including advising in relation to management company tax issues and carried interest. In addition, he also has significant experience advising on real estate tax matters covering both the establishment of real estate funds and the M&A transactions they undertake.

‘Alexander is a leading tax partner in the European private equity market who regularly advises financial sponsors on the structuring of their investment funds,’  said Jon Ballis, chairman of Kirkland’s executive committee. ‘We are delighted that Alexander is joining us and this will further strengthen our global tax team.’

Katten Named Best Law Firm – HFM US Quant Awards 2021

NEW YORK, March 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Katten announced today that the firm was named “Best Law Firm” during the HFM US Quant Awards 2021 virtual ceremony, honoring service providers who have demonstrated extraordinary skills and innovation.

“We are thoroughly pleased to receive this distinction because it recognizes our standing as a national leader and acknowledges that our attorneys represent some of the largest quant and algorithmic trading firms anywhere in the world,” said Lance Zinman, Global Chair of Katten’s Financial Markets and Funds practice. “This award underscores that our interdisciplinary team understands the full spectrum of factors that affect these businesses from the competition for technology and talent and the importance of intellectual property protection and data security to all of the global regulations that govern the industry.”

Katten was acknowledged for its long history of providing top-of-class and business-savvy counsel to scores of asset managers, the largest quant funds, most of the industry’s major proprietary trading firms, including early pioneers of these strategies, and other market participants deploying them.

“This recognition salutes our extraordinary team, which consistently serves as both legal counsel and commercial advisors to the full panoply of clients — from early stage ventures — to proprietary trading firms — to the largest asset managers in the world, helping them achieve their business goals in all market environments, including and particularly throughout these challenging times,” said Wendy E. Cohen, partner and co-chair of Katten’s Investment Management and Funds practice, part of the Financial Markets and Funds group.

Allison Yacker, partner and co-chair of the Investment Management and Funds practice, added: “Our integrated, 360-degree approach allows us to provide customized counsel and promptly develop commercially practical solutions. In the last year alone, we advised numerous clients through extreme market pressure, fund liquidations and opportunistic trading, to name just some of the issues we are well-equipped to address.”

Katten last year was named top onshore law firm for start-ups at the HFM US Services Awards 2020 and shortlisted in the “Best Onshore Law Firm” and “Best Advisory Firm – Regulation & Compliance” categories. On March 4, the firm will kick off a four-part webinar series, “What You Need to Know About Creating a Quantitative Asset Manager.”

Katten is a full-service law firm with nearly 700 attorneys in locations across the United States and in London and Shanghai. Clients seeking sophisticated, high-value legal services turn to Katten for counsel locally, nationally and internationally. The firm’s core areas of practice include corporate, financial markets and funds, insolvency and restructuring, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, structured finance and securitization, transactional tax planning, private credit and private wealth. Katten represents public and private companies in numerous industries, as well as a number of government and nonprofit organizations and individuals. For more information, visit katten.com.

Expansive Goodwin makes another City tech play

Following a string of hires to expand its London office this year, Goodwin Procter has again added to its City technology and life sciences practice with the hire of partner Ali Ramadan from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Ramadan has experience in venture capital, cross-border M&A and private equity transactions for technology businesses. He acts for start-ups, high-growth companies and investors operating in the technology, fintech, proptech and digital media industries.

Goodwin has been in full-on expansion mode in the City in recent months, in July adding a significant string to its bow in the form of a four-partner technology and life sciences team from Taylor Wessing.

That team hire of Taylor Wessing’s head of life sciences Malcolm Bates, David Mardle, Tim Worden and Adrian Rainey was another step in Goodwin’s stated ambition to bolster its London bench in this specialist sector.

Ramadan told Legal Business: ‘The attraction to Goodwin was really their technology platform. It’s a great firm with a great reputation in tech, at the cutting edge of all these deals. I’m looking forward to working together with UK and US teams in terms of helping to build out the lifecycle tech practice here in London.’

Co-chair of Goodwin’s technology practice Anthony McCusker told Legal Business: ‘We’ve seen the lifecycle practice in London and Europe develop closely to how we see it in the US.

‘We think we’re well positioned to gain market share and continue to be active. Investors and companies look to the people that are best positioned to help them. Our expectation is that if there’s less work to spread around, they’ll continue to work with a firm like ours. Whether there’s a slowdown in the market or not we think that not being aggressive to build for what the market needs would be a big mistake,’ McCusker added.

Also acquisitive recently has been Dechert, with the Philadelphia-headquartered outfit hiring Philip Dowsett to its private equity, corporate and investment funds practice in Dubai.

Dowsett was previously a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Dubai and is a seasoned lawyer in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, private equity investments, disposals, restructuring and takeovers, as well as corporate governance and investment fund structuring.

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He has represented and advised numerous private equity groups in the region over the last ten years, with clients including Dubai International Capital, NBK Capital Partners, Abraaj, Amanat Holdings, Greenstone Equity Partners and Sico Trucial.

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Dowsett told Legal Business: ‘On the private equity, M&A and funds side, there’s really no better firm on those practices than Dechert in the region. The real estate practice is one of the leading ones in the region.’

Regional managing partner Chris Sioufi told Legal Business: ‘The market has been more difficult for the last two years in the region because of the geopolitical tensions. We have seen a slowdown in foreign money coming into the region but we have positioned ourselves to be able to take advantage of outflows of money and assist our regional clients who are either setting up or investing in funds in other jurisdictions or doing acquisitions out of the region.’

The hire of Dowsett follows those of real estate partners Stephen Kelly and Sarah Mahood last year in Dubai.

Elsewhere, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has hired international arbitration partner Mark McNeill in New York at the expense of the London office of Shearman & Sterling.

McNeill has experience in advocacy and representing companies and states in numerous commercial and investment treaty arbitrations. He focuses on intellectual property, technology, nuclear construction, pharmaceuticals, business combinations, oil & gas, taxation, mining, insurance, and reinsurance.

McNeill told Legal Business: ‘Quinn Emanuel has some of the best trial lawyers in the world. If you like going to trial then it’s just a great place to be.

‘There’s a remarkable geographic shift to Asia in particular. You have more disputes arising from parties based in Asia. More cases in Africa and a lot of infrastructure projects which inevitably are giving rise to disputes. I see mining claims and still very high oil & gas claims,’ McNeill added.

Shoosmiths also grew its real estate team with the hire of planning and development partner Karen Howard from DLA Piper. She has experience in strategic planning on large regeneration schemes and advises across sectors including residential, offices, industrial, retail, hotels and leisure.

Howard commented: ‘I joined Shoosmiths because what motivates me is the ethos of teamwork here and pulling together with my colleagues across the UK. The people here are super-friendly and it’s inspiring to join Shoosmiths at a time when the firm is growing.’