Linklaters senior partner candidate replaces Moriarty at Diageo

There was an in-house flavour to this week’s recruitment round, while Addleshaw Goddard, Davis Polk, Paul Hastings and Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath all made key partner hires.

Linklaters has lost its partner and global US practice head Tom Shropshire (pictured), as he departs to take over the GC and company secretary position at multinational beverage company Diageo, recently vacated by the long-serving GC Powerlist member Siobhán Moriarty. Moriarty announced her intention to retire last September after more than 24 years of service.

Shropshire, who was tipped as a strong candidate in Linklaters’ upcoming senior partner election, has been a partner at the firm since 2006, advising on heavyweight M&A deals such as the £46bn takeover of Shire by Takeda in a landmark 2018 pharmaceutical buyout .

Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes said of Shropshire: ‘His leadership and wealth of experience in corporate advisory, M&A and capital markets, along with his passion and advocacy for sustainability, inclusion and diversity, will make him a great asset for our executive team and board.’

Clyde & Co has turned to accountancy firm RSM for its latest hire, appointing former GC Penrose Foss as a partner to its accountants’ liability and regulatory investigations team. Foss, who has a decade of experience as RSM’s GC, has dealt with high-value professional negligence claims and large-scale regulatory investigations during her tenure.

She said: ‘My in-house experience will enable me to bring a different perspective and unique understanding of the legal, compliance and regulatory challenges faced by the accountancy profession today.’

Continuing the in-house theme,  DWF has appointed a new GC and company secretary in the form of Darren Drabble, who joins from Radius Payment Solutions where he was group legal director and company secretary. Drabble is a seasoned in-house lawyer, having also spent 12 years as GC of between 2007 and 2019. He will become a member of DWF’s executive board, tasked with providing senior management with strategic legal advice.

Drabble described DWF as ‘one of the most innovative and forward thinking legal businesses in the world’ and said ‘I look forward to supporting DWF as it progresses to the next phase of its development.’

Elsewhere, Paul Hastings has pulled off a senior disputes hire for its City office with the appointment of Alex Leitch as a partner from Covington, where he was co-chair of the London disputes group. Leitch’s hire follows the arrival of white collar partners Jonathan Pickworth and Jo Dimmock from White & Case last month.

Continuing its expansive start to the year, Addleshaw Goddard has hired infrastructure partner Alex Hirom from Womble Bond Dickinson. Hirom will add to Addleshaws’ construction and engineering team in London, bringing advisory expertise on major infrastructure projects spanning both renewable and traditional-source energy generation. Just last week, Addleshaws recruited disputes partner Maria Frangeskides in London and banking partner Nadine Bourgeois in Germany .

Internationally, New York-bred Davis Polk has made a significant capital markets hire in Beijing, appointing Jason Xu as a partner. Xu was previously a partner and deputy head of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s equity capital markets practice in China, and his practice focuses on Hong Kong IPOs as well as domestic and cross-border M&A.

Neil Barr, Davis Polk’s managing partner, commented: ‘Demand for elite Hong Kong law advice continues to grow, and Jason adds important bench strength that will further enable us to deliver the highest level of service to our clients in the region.’

Finally, Faegre Drinker has expanded on both the east and west coasts of the US after hiring restructuring partners Richard Bernard and Scott Gautier to its New York and Los Angeles offices respectively. Bernard arrives from Foley & Lardner while Gautier joins from litigation specialist Robins Kaplan.