Category Archives: Legal

A new chapter for the Simmons & Simmons Bristol Office

Twelve year lease signed for Aurora, Finzels Reach

International law firm Simmons & Simmons further demonstrates its commitment to Bristol by taking the top two floors of the Aurora building in Finzels Reach from January 2019.

The firm has agreed a 12-year lease for 27,000 sqft of office space in one of Bristol’s most exciting and sought after locations. This is a new chapter for the Bristol team who, working with their London colleagues as a single integrated UK practice, undertake premium work for premium clients in the firm’s chosen sectors – both in the UK and internationally.

Simmons & Simmons currently holds 16,000 sqft of office space at Linear Park; the move to the newly built Aurora will provide a modern and inspiring work environment to allow the firm to continue to attract and develop the best people in the legal industry the market has to offer.

Bristol office head and financial services partner, Mahrie Webb commented: “We are very excited to be moving to the new Aurora building and the Finzels Reach location. Since opening our Bristol office in 2012, we have attracted some of the brightest and best lawyers the market has to offer – but we see this as just the beginning. If we are to continue to attract and retain high quality people to do premium work for premium clients we will need an office environment and location that is modern, inspiring and suited for the way people wish to work now and in the future. I see this move as good news for our people and, therefore, good news for our clients.”

Aurora is a landmark Grade A, BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and a LEED Gold standard, headquarter building of 95,531 sqft in Bristol’s central business district. It is the only building outside London and one of only six in the UK to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ award under the new, toughest rating scheme.

Key green features including rooftop mounted solar panels, intelligent LED lighting, water saving technology and an emphasis on creating a healthy working environment, with fresh air and plenty of natural light from the floor to ceiling glazing. There will be bicycle storage facilities, lockers and showers on site.

Cushman & Wakefield were the advisors for Simmons & Simmons, with Savills advising Cubex, the developer. Funding was provided by Palmer Capital.

Peter Walford, director at Cubex, said: “We are thrilled that Simmons & Simmons will be moving to Aurora and that the building is now 40 per cent pre-let. This represents the second deal we have secured at Aurora, illustrating continued buoyant demand in the city for high calibre office space with outstanding environmental credentials and an important emphasis on staff well-being in the workplace. It is fantastic to see work continuing apace on Aurora and we expect to be announcing more deals in the near future as the building has attracted further serious interest recently.”

Steven Wright, director at Palmer Capital, said: “It is excellent news that Simmons & Simmons will be joining Aurora. This new Grade A office building for Bristol that will provide much-needed office space of the right quality in the right location in a city where there is currently very little supply, whilst setting a new standard in Bristol in terms of its sustainability credentials.”

BLP boosts international Real Estate practice with Partner hire

International law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) today (8 January 2018) announced the appointment of Mark Stevens as Partner in Hong Kong, further boosting its Corporate Real Estate capabilities in Asia.

A highly respected Corporate lawyer, Mark will build BLP’s Real Estate Private Equity and M&A service in Asia. His hire is part of the firm’s strategy of providing clients with a premium global real estate and infrastructure capability. Mark’s arrival follows the hire of Andrew MacGeoch as Head of Asia Real Estate and Infrastructure and Global Head of Hotels Group in August 2017.

Formerly a Hong Kong based Mayer Brown Partner of 14 years, Mark has led on a number of significant real estate private equity, M&A and joint venture transactions including for sovereign wealth funds and global private equity firms. Mark has extensive experience advising on a wide range of cross-border M&A and joint venture transactions.

His arrival is a further boost for the firm in Asia, where there have been numerous strategic hires including Gavin Margetson to spearhead regional international arbitration, the Haley & Co LCR/Projects team, the William Ho team specialising in asset finance, and private client expert Marcus Dearle.

Andrew MacGeoch, Head of Asia Real Estate and Infrastructure, said: “Offering market leading Real Estate Private Equity and M&A advice to existing and prospective clients is a key part of our Real Estate strategy in Asia. Mark is a seasoned lawyer with a reputation for first class client service, and we are delighted to have him on board.”

Chris de Pury, Head of Real Estate, added: “We are thrilled to see how our Asian Real Estate team is growing following Andrew MacGeoch’s arrival in August 2017, Phill Smith’s arrival as Senior Consultant in September 2017 to advise on REIT matters and now Mark in January 2018. We expect to see continued growth of the team in 2018 and 2019 with senior and other supporting hires.”

Mark said: “Clients are looking for advice on increasingly complex and global Private Equity and M&A transactions. I’m looking forward to joining a firm that has a strong commitment to providing clients with a premium global Real Estate.”

BLP promotes five to Partnership

International law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) today (11 January 2018) announced that five lawyers have been promoted to the Partnership.

Corporate Tax
Kate Ison (London)
A corporate tax lawyer, Kate specialises in tax dispute resolution.

Gordon McMillan (London)
Gordon is a member of the firm’s Real Estate Finance practice, specialising in debt financings.

Rashpal Soomal (London)
Rashpal is part of BLP’s LCR Real Estates Disputes, and focuses on rights of light legal issues.
Real Estate

Alan Twine (London)
Alan is a member of BLP’s Real Estate team, working across multi-disciplinary transactions.

Emma Le Wita (London)
A Real Estate lawyer, Emma specialises in the acquisition, disposal, financings and restructuring of real estate assets.
Lisa Mayhew, Managing Partner, BLP, said: “Our new Partners have demonstrated high performance with exceptional client handling and personal service, and commitment to BLP’s strategy. I am delighted to welcome them into the partnership.”

Number of M&A deals notified to Ireland’s competition agency increased in 2017

The review of Irish Merger Control in 2017 confirms a 7.5% increase in the number of M&A deals notified to the CCPC. In 2017, 72 M&A deals were notified compared to 67 deals in 2016 and 78 M&A deals in 2015. Energy emerged as a key sector for deals notified to the CCPC in 2017

Read Dr Vincent Power’s, partner and head of EU and Competition, comments which featured in the Irish Independent on Monday 8 January 2018.

For more information, contact any member of the EU, Competition & Procurement Group at
A&L Goodbody.

Julian Yarr re-elected for third term as Managing Partner of A&L Goodbody

Julian Yarr has been elected by the partners of A&L Goodbody to serve a third term as Managing Partner. The term will start from 1 May 2018 and run for four years.

Catherine Duffy, Chairman of A&L Goodbody said: “The leadership and direction provided by Julian since 2010 has contributed hugely to the success of our firm. We can look forward to benefiting from his experience, energy, and commitment to our business as we focus on our ambitious plans for the future.”

Julian Yarr said: “I’m extremely proud to be elected for a third term as Managing Partner. We have fantastic clients and great people. This is a powerful combination which has proved very successful. Looking ahead, we have exciting plans to further develop our business to ensure that we continue to be at the forefront of our market for the benefit of our clients.”

Michelmores announces new Managing Partner

Michelmores has announced that Tim Richards has been elected as its new Managing Partner for an initial three-year term commencing in May 2018, succeeding long-standing Managing Partner Malcolm Dickinson.

Malcolm took on the role of Managing Partner in 2008. Under Malcolm’s leadership the Firm has seen tremendous growth, moving from a single office with a turnover of less than £1m to a Top 100 firm with a turnover of £34.4m and offices in London, Bristol and Exeter. Malcolm will continue to play an active role at the Firm, and will be based mainly in London, where he will be closely involved in the strategic development of the Firm and of Michelmores’ international practice, particularly in China.

Tim has been the head of the Commercial Dispute Resolution team for 15 years and also chairs the Executive Board. Tim has significant experience in handling a wide range of commercial disputes and has a reputation of being a hugely accomplished litigator.

Commenting on his appointment, Tim Richards said:

“I am delighted and honoured to have been chosen by my fellow partners to serve as the next Managing Partner of Michelmores at what is a very exciting time in the development of the Firm, and for the legal sector in general. The current economic and regulatory environments continue to present UK and international businesses with opportunities and challenges in areas on which Michelmores is ideally placed to advise. I look forward to working with my colleagues and our clients to continue to deliver an outstanding service, while providing an environment where our people can flourish. I am also delighted that Malcolm will continue to contribute to the implementation of our strategy and our future growth.”

Andrew Oldland QC, Senior Partner added:

“I know that Tim will be a terrific leader of Michelmores. Law firm leadership is about people, business and law. Tim’s expertise means that he has an innate ability to get the best out of people, and he is an excellent listener and observer. I believe that under Tim’s stewardship, Michelmores will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Celeste Koeleveld joins Clifford Chance’s Litigation practice as a Partner

Clifford Chance today announced that the former General Counsel of the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) and Chief of the Criminal Division for the Southern District of New York (“SDNY”), Celeste Koeleveld, has joined the Firm as a partner in its Americas Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice. Her arrival represents yet another high-profile addition by Clifford Chance’s growing Litigation team in the US.

In her leadership role at DFS, Koeleveld was deeply involved in the key policy and enforcement initiatives of the department, including the groundbreaking DFS cyber security and transaction monitoring and filtering regulations.

“Celeste brings tremendous insight into the current regulatory and criminal enforcement issues affecting financial institutions and their executives in today’s age of heightened penalties and increased personal accountability,” said David DiBari, head of the Americas Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice. “We are building one of the leading white collar and regulatory practices in the US, and Celeste adds important complementary skills, expertise and experience to an already strong team in the US and globally. We couldn’t be more delighted to welcome her as our newest partner.”

Prior to DFS, Koeleveld was a member of the New York City Law Department’s senior executive team, where she was responsible for overseeing nearly half of the 700-attorney office, including the 100-member Special Federal Litigation Division and 250-member Tort Division.

“Our strategy is to continue building out areas of clear strength for us in this region and provide clients with the highest-quality legal services for critical matters,” said Evan Cohen, regional managing partner for Clifford Chance in the Americas. “Our investigations capabilities in the US are world-class; adding someone like Celeste to our team only serves to fortify an already outstanding team of US litigators.”

“Celeste is a really exciting addition to our global regulatory investigations and financial crime team, which works closely together to help clients around the world grapple with a fast-changing regulatory environment and ever-increasing scrutiny from multiple government authorities,” said Matthew Newick, Clifford Chance’s global head of Litigation & Dispute Resolution. “Her insights – derived from years of experience at the heart of important US government institutions – will be of enormous value to our clients.”

From 1991 to 2008, Koeleveld served with distinction as an Assistant United States Attorney in the US Attorney’s Office for the SDNY. As Chief of the Criminal Division, she supervised more than 160 Assistant US Attorneys assigned to nine different units – spanning securities and other complex frauds, corruption, terrorism, organized crime and narcotics trafficking – in all aspects of criminal investigations and prosecutions. As Chief Appellate Attorney, she counseled the US Attorney on legal matters, including trial practice and strategy. She also served at the SDNY as Deputy Chief Appellate Attorney and as Chief of General Crimes.

“I’m excited to be joining one of the finest law firms in the world,” said Koeleveld. “I’m also looking forward to working alongside so many talented and committed lawyers – both in the US and across the Clifford Chance network – and putting my insights and experience to work for such a large and impressive roster of clients.”

Koeleveld’s arrival further strengthens Clifford Chance’s US information security and technology law offerings. She joins Dan Silver, who joined the Firm in 2016 after serving as Chief of the National Security and Cybercrime Section within the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, as well as Washington, DC partner Megan Gordon, who advises Fortune 100 companies on cyber-related issues.

With the addition of Koeleveld, who will be based in the Firm’s New York office, Clifford Chance now has 22 partners and experienced counsel across its white collar and regulatory defense and commercial litigation and arbitration practices in the Americas. Currently ranked Tier 1 in New York by Best Lawyers, the practice has been recognized by Global Investigations Review each of the past two years, with Top 10 rankings in the GIR 30 in both 2016 and 2017.

Travers Smith re-appoints David Patient as Managing Partner

Travers Smith LLP has announced today the re-appointment of David Patient as the firm’s Managing Partner for a second, three year term, with effect from 1 July 2018.

David trained at Travers Smith and became a partner in 1999. He established the firm’s Paris office in the same year and, after several years of splitting his time between London and Paris, was appointed Managing Partner in January 2015.

Travers Smith’s Senior Partner Chris Hale said:

“Over the last three years David’s leadership, commitment, ideas and contribution have placed the firm in a strong and enviable position in the legal market. We now have a solid platform for the future growth and success of the firm and I look forward to working with David on a range of management and strategic matters in 2018 and beyond.”

Commenting on his re-appointment David Patient said:

“It is a great privilege to be Travers Smith’s Managing Partner. I have spent my whole career at the firm and, over the next three and a bit years, will ensure we maintain the winning formula that makes it so special for both our clients and our people.”

De Brauw appoints two counsel

De Brauw has appointed Canadian lawyer Amanda Kemshaw and Chinese lawyer Yi Duan as counsel.

Amanda is a litigation lawyer who specialises in international arbitration, corporate commercial litigation and multi-jurisdictional disputes. Her fields of expertise include complex commercial disputes, cross border litigation, corruption and fraud allegations, along with acting as lead strategic oversight counsel for clients with disputes worldwide. Amanda has represented clients in both national and international arbitrations under the rules of UNCITRAL, ICC, the Netherlands Arbitration Institute and others.

Yi is a corporate lawyer, highly experienced in cross border mergers and acquisitions and general corporate advice. He is also a member of De Brauw’s China team, advising multinational companies doing business in China, and assisting Chinese and other Asian companies making investment and acquisitions abroad. He has acted as advisor in many large M&A transactions, including for Philips in the sale of Lumileds to Apollo.

Geert Potjewijd, managing partner at De Brauw: “We are very happy and proud to have appointed Amanda and Yi as counsel. We see their international experience is a real benefit to our firm, and we believe our clients will profit from their experience and knowledge”.