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Hat-trick of new partners in the UK doubling Addleshaw Goddard’s Global Investigations practice

Addleshaw Goddard has doubled the size of its Global Investigations practice following the arrival of two new partners who between them have more than 50 years’ experience and the promotion of three internal candidates in the UK and Hong Kong.

In the UK the addition of London-based David Young and Polly Sprenger, partners previously at Eversheds and Katten respectively, and the promotion of Sarah Thomas to partner nearly doubles the partner team in AGs corporate crime, FI investigations and Health & Safety practice to create one of the largest specialist teams of its kind in the UK.

This brings the total number of partners in the practice in the UK to seven. In addition two further partners have been promoted in Hong Kong, Ivan Chang and Janie Wong who respectively deal with regulatory and corporate crime investigations.

David Young – health & safety and food law

David has practised food law over much of his career alongside his recognised health and safety practice. He joins from Eversheds where he spent his entire career since qualification in 1984, co-founding the environment, health and safety team, and leading the food sector group. He also brings considerable experience of working in retail, energy, manufacturing and transport in fatal accident investigations, inquests, environmental investigations and enforcement, trading standards and consumer protection and product safety. Most recently, David has been advising clients in relation to COVID-19 issues.

David successfully defended a client in the first ever norovirus prosecution and advised on the establishment of the Food Industry Information Network (FIIN) in 2015 following the “horsemeat scandal”. He has been FIIN’s sole legal adviser for the last seven years, which now has 40+ leading food industry manufacturers and retailers as members.

He is listed as “Star” in the Chambers & Partners rankings, and solely occupies the “Senior Statespeople” category in the 2020 edition.

Polly Sprenger – corporate crime, civil litigation, asset recovery and internal investigations 

Polly Sprenger joins Addleshaw Goddard from US firm Katten Muchin Rosenman where she was a Partner, having previously been Head of Strategic Intelligence at the SFO, spent five years as a private investigator, was the Technical Advisor to a Parliamentary Inquiry into private investigative misconduct and was a member of the prosecution team in the high profile trial of News of the World journalists.

Polly has a unique offering in the London and international market, representing corporate and financial services clients either dealing with allegations of misconduct or as the victims of fraud, corruption and money laundering in the cross over space between corporate crime and civil remedies. She is experienced in private prosecutions work; and her multi-jurisdictional practice includes extensive experience conducting litigation across both civil and criminal courts, and managing cases involving evidence collection and legal action in multiple countries and regions.

Polly and AG Global Investigations Head, Nichola Peters and partner Michelle de Kluyver have all been ranked in Global Investigation Review’s top 100 women practicing globally in investigations, and are listed in Who’s Who Legal as an expert in investigations. In 2019, Polly was also listed by Chambers & Partners in the first-ever rankings of private prosecution specialists

Addleshaw Goddard announces diverse new round of partner promotions

Addleshaw Goddard has announced the promotion of 13 new Partners, 60% of whom are female, underscoring the firm’s growing commitment to nurturing a culture centred on equality and inclusion. 

The 13 new partners span seven of its international offices in the UK, Asia and the GCC, demonstrating the increasingly global nature of the firm. They also include its first partner promotions in Asia, keeping it well on track to hit its growth plans of being a double digit partner firm in the region in the near future. This has been further supported by a spate of lateral hires into its Hong Kong and Singapore offices over the past year. 

The growing nature of the business is also reflected in the number of partner promotions, which are an increase on last year. They cover all four of the firm’s Divisions, with two in its Finance and Projects, five in its Corporate and Commercial, one in its Real Estate and five in its Litigation Divisions.

AG recruits two new partners to strengthen their regulatory practice in Germany

Helge Heinrich and Jan-Oliver Schrotz have joined Addleshaw Goddard’s (AG) Corporate & Commercial Division, further strengthening AG’s practice in Germany. 

Heinrich and Schrotz are former Noerr LLP colleagues – Schrotz joins from BDO Legal and Henrich from Noerr LLP. Together they will bolster and provide a comprehensive regulatory practice that further cements AG’s credentials as an integrated full-service law firm in the German market. Their move to AG will enable them to leverage their local market expertise on a global scale, given AG have twelve offices across six countries. This now takes the number of German partners to seven, with nineteen fee earners in total. 

Heinrich, a renowned expert on German / EU competition law and lecturer on state aid issues at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, and Schrotz, who is well known for all aspects of state aid / public procurement and well published in a range of journals on framework agreements within this field, will further leverage AG’s existing domestic and international clients. By adding expertise in the following areas, they will extend the Firm’s range of services, particularly: German and EU competition law, compliance, litigation, state aid and public procurement where there are significant growth opportunities for such services in the German market. Both have worked for some of Europe’s largest companies on complex and multi-jurisdictional matters. Together they will focus on and cover a number of highly relevant practice areas and leverage AG’s international footprint and client base by engaging in cross-border work and projects.  

Michael Leue, Partner in corporate & commercial & Head of AG’s Hamburg Office said:

“Jan-Oliver and Helge are a perfect addition to our transactional corporate M&A practice, our finance practice and in particular our transport practice where we really have a market edge, particularly in rail. Helge and Jan-Oliver’s recruitment will further enable us to access important German & European companies in the insurance sector, public transport, other regulated industries, health care, consumer electronics and automotive.”

AG’s corporate practice has significant experience handling all forms of corporate finance and commercial transactions throughout the European market which includes advising some of Europe’s largest transport and energy companies on significant joint ventures, development, financing and operational mandates within the sector. 

Leue further added:  

“Germany remains one of the world’s largest importers and exporters and has a strong manufacturing base and significant infrastructure investment opportunities and is a key interlocutor for large multinationals to access continental European business. We have achieved some great success to date in Germany since opening our office in May last year, but we have ambitious growth plans for the next three years and we are all focused on achieving these objectives. Our business pipeline remains strong, and we are absolute in our determination to attract the best talent and continue to win credible and market-leading mandates which will further enhance the AG brand in Germany.  I am very confident that we now have an exceptionally strong market position and integrated regulatory practice and Jan-Oliver and Helge hires fit perfectly with that ambition.” 


The current COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe is not stopping leading African law firm, Bowmans, from moving forward.

Less than a year after it announced it was opening a new office in Mauritius and entering into an alliance with Assefa & Associates Law Office in Ethiopia, the firm today announced that it is expanding into Malawi and Zambia.

The move has been described as ‘a bold step in uncertain times’. Chairman and senior partner, Robert Legh says, ‘Now, more than ever before, we are focussing on our vision of being the pre-eminent African law firm serving our clients wherever they are on the continent’.

Despite the COVID-19 uncertainty, the tie ups with Malawi and Zambia are timely. Both countries are in the World Bank’s top 10 Sub-Saharan Africa countries in terms of ease of doing business for 2020 after having been ranked, in 2018, among the world’s 10 most improved economies when it comes to regulatory reforms that make it easier to do business. 

Trade and investment in Africa were increasing prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and are expected to pick up again in due course.

Legh says, ‘Our clients will be among those leading the way. We’ve been planning the expansion for some time. We decided to press ahead so we’re ready with an experienced team of local lawyers in key markets to help them harness these opportunities when the time comes.’

‘Another consideration in our decision was the important roles that both Malawi and Zambia they play as part COMESA,’ he continues.

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, known as COMESA, is the regional free-trade area comprising 21 member states. Malawi hosts the COMESA Competition Commission, which is responsible for enforcement of COMESA competition law. Zambia hosts the COMESA Secretariat which is responsible for economic and trade policies for the bloc.

In Malawi, Bowmans is teaming up with Elton Jangale, who manages PFI Partnerships (PFI). Jangale is a barrister and chartered accountant with more than 18 years’ experience in transaction advisory services.

PFI’s work extends from COMESA competition law and mergers and acquisitions law to project finance, public-private partnerships (PPPs), corporate and finance law, and regulatory compliance. Over the years, PFI has given critical support to people and multinational enterprises conducting business and trade in the COMESA region.

Bowmans and PFI have a number of clients in common and have worked together previously.  Legh says, ‘The tie up will benefit our clients because it formalises an existing relationship and enables us to work together more closely to provide a seamless service in the competition and commercial law space, not only in Malawi, but in the region as a whole.’

Jangale says, ‘I’ve been working with Bowmans for some time and I am familiar with the way they operate. This is a great opportunity for my firm and for Malawi to join a truly pan-African business whose focus is on improving access to high-quality legal services for its clients.’ 

The new office in Zambia, registered according to Zambian law as B&M Legal Practitioners, will start with two partners: well-respected senior practitioner, Mabvuto Sakala, who has 18 years’ experience in corporate, commercial, banking and public policy advisory work, and dispute resolution, will serve as the firm’s managing partner. Bwalya Chilufya-Musonda, a seasoned lawyer who specialises in mergers and acquisitions, competition, banking and finance, capital markets, and tax law, is the other partner. They will be initially supported by two senior associates.

Commenting on the decision to join Bowmans, Sakala says the firm’s commitment to the African continent was one of the deciding factors for him and Chilufya-Musonda, as was the nature of complex work that the firm routinely handles for its clients.

‘We are looking forward to being part of the Bowmans team and working on matters of this nature,’ he explains. ‘Bwalya and I have previously worked with Bowmans on several occasions and we share in Bowmans’ vision. We think that our partnership with Bowmans will be of great value to our clients as we’ll be able to leverage on the team’s depth, experience, diligence and professionalism.’

As a result of these developments, the Bowmans brand is now present in eight key African countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia with nine of its own offices in seven jurisdictions.

‘We are very excited about these developments,’ says Legh. ‘We believe in Africa’s potential and are committed to supporting our clients and our people, as they seek to unlock opportunity, overcome challenges and realise the hopes that will shape the future of the continent.’

Norton Rose Fulbright bolsters employment and labor practice in California

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright today announced that Joshua M. Henderson has joined its offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles as a partner. The employment and labor litigator comes from Seyfarth Shaw, where he served as national vice chair of its labor management relations group.

Henderson represents a wide array of companies in all aspects of labor relations, including negotiating contracts; arbitrating discharge and contract disputes; strikes; secondary boycotts; union elections; and related litigation. He counsels clients on safety compliance and defends employers before OSHA, California regulatory boards and other agencies.

Henderson – who also handles wage and hour class actions, EEOC systemic litigation, and sexual harassment, discrimination, and other claims – is Norton Rose Fulbright’s fifth lateral partner hire in California since October, as the firm continues to grow its presence on the West Coast.

Jeff Cody, Norton Rose Fulbright’s US Managing Partner, said:

“California continues to be a high priority growth opportunity for our firm, and Josh’s addition as a highly experienced and well respected litigator with strong corporate connections fits perfectly with our overall strategy.”

Shauna Clark, Norton Rose Fulbright’s US Head of Employment and Labor, commented:

“Labor relations disputes are among the more complex disputes companies face, and we will have an opportunity to connect Josh with these opportunities from our California client base. With employment litigation on the rise, he is a significant addition for our firm and clients.”

Henderson, a prolific legal writer and thought leader in the labor and employment field, said:

“I’m thrilled to be joining Norton Rose Fulbright because of its global reach and commitment to expanding its California footprint. My employment and labor practice is a great fit with its model of being a full-service operation for West Coast clients.”

Licensed to practice in California and Illinois, Henderson earned his JD at George Washington University Law School and his BA at the University of Notre Dame.

Norton Rose Fulbright expands Dubai banking and projects teams

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has announced that banking and finance lawyer Nick Robinson has joined the firm as partner in its Dubai office.

Nick, who joins from Stephenson Harwood, has been based in Dubai since 2010. He advises regional and international financial institutions and corporates on secured lending transactions, and has particular expertise in development and project finance on both a conventional finance and Islamic finance basis. Nick’s current practice covers sectors including real estate finance, ECA-backed finance, acquisition finance, asset finance and trade finance, and Nick also advises on restructuring and insolvency matters. 

Nick was recognized as a ‘Next Generation Lawyer’ by the Legal 500 in 2020. Prior to joining Stephenson Harwood, Nick spent eight years as associate and counsel in the banking and projects team at Norton Rose Fulbright in Dubai.

Deirdre Walker, head of Middle East at Norton Rose Fulbright, comments:

“We are delighted to welcome Nick back to Norton Rose Fulbright as partner, further expanding the team following the appointment of Nick Kramer as projects and construction partner earlier this year. Nick Robinson has in-depth experience of UAE law, which expands upon our capability as a local law provider. His experience at Norton Rose Fulbright and knowledge of the local market makes him a strong fit for the office and his hire strengthens the full service offering of the banking team.”

Norton Rose Fulbright’s international construction and projects practice is recognised industry-wide. In 2019, the firm advised on more completed project finance transactions than any other international law firm according to IJ Global, received 18 IJ Global awards for ‘Deal of the Year’ which included deals carried out in the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Alongside this, the projects team received six PFI ‘Deal of the Year’ awards for construction-related projects.

DWF appoints new data protection and cyber security consulting and operational risk leader

Mark joins DWF from Deloitte where he was responsible for client projects relating to data protection and cyber security risk and remediation.  Prior to Deloitte, Mark spent nine years at PwC during which time he held roles including, Group Leader for the 100+ headcount London Cyber Security and Business Resilience Business, Technology Audit Lead for the FTSE100 practice, and Leadership Team member of the multi-disciplinary Data Protection group. 

Prior to that, Mark spent several years working in client facing technical project and programme management roles for Research Machines Plc and British Telecom. Mark has over 14 years’ experience in assisting clients to deliver their most complex and critical initiatives.  As well as a proven track record in cyber security and data protection, risk remediation and transformation, Mark also has extensive experience working in contentious, time critical and pressured circumstances including some of the most significant breach events to have affected leading companies in recent years. 

At DWF, Mark’s focus will be on leading and growing cyber security consultancy services alongside Global Head of Data Protection and Cyber Security, Stewart Room, and the wider leadership team.  Mark will advise clients across a range of sectors to address their cyber security issues and requirements, with particular focus on multidisciplinary incident response services, strategic improvement, and risk remediation. 

Commenting on Mark’s appointment, Stewart Room, Partner and Global Head of Data Protection and Cyber Security, said, “We are delighted to be welcoming Mark to DWF. He is an extremely experienced data protection and cyber security professional who provides DWF with an added edge in the market. Mark will be critical in advising clients across a range of sectors to address their cyber security issues, with a focus on incident response services, strategic improvement, and risk remediation.”

Speaking about his role with the firm, Mark said, “I am delighted to have joined DWF which is a business in prime position to serve our clients and grow with them. The combination of DWF’s legal expertise and associated legal and non-legal services globally provides an incredibly powerful and united platform from which to serve our clients and markets.  My appointment and other recent appointments within this area of expertise provide a real statement of intent to the market and our clients about DWF as a destination of choice for clients requiring cyber security and data protection services. The combination of expertise and experience, global coverage, and service lines available from DWF is truly impressive and it is exciting to have joined the business at this stage of development.  Particularly as new security challenges and issues continue to present themselves as a result of COVID-19”.

Mark’s appointment comes after James Drury-Smith joined the business as partner and UK national leader of privacy and cyber security in April and Stewart Room as partner and global head of data protection and cyber security in February.

Ari Lanin and Debra Wong Yang Named Among Los Angeles’ 2020 Most Influential People

Century City partner Ari Lanin and Los Angeles partner Debra Wong Yang were recognized in Los Angeles Business Journal’s LA500 list of the most influential people in Los Angeles, which “serves as a reminder that L.A. is peopled by some of the smartest, most innovative and staunchly resilient business talent anywhere in the world.”  The guide was published on May 25, 2020.

Ari Lanin is Co-Chair of the firm’s Private Equity practice group.  He advises companies and private equity firms across a wide range of industries, focusing on public and private merger transactions, stock and asset sales, joint ventures and strategic partnerships, and public and private (including Rule144A) capital-raising transactions.  Lanin also advises public companies with respect to securities regulation and corporate governance matters, including periodic reporting and disclosure matters, Section 16, Rule 144, insider trading and the implementation of Rule 10b5-1(c) plans.

Debra Wong Yang is Co-Chair of the Crisis Management Practice Group.  Drawing on her depth of experience and record of success, Yang focuses part of her practice on strategic counseling.  She leads critical representations, both high profile and highly confidential, involving a wide variety of industries, economic sectors, regulatory bodies, law enforcement agencies, global jurisdictions and all types of proceedings.  She also has a strong background in addressing and resolving problems across the white collar litigation spectrum, including through corporate and individual representations, internal investigations, crisis management and compliance.

DLA Piper continues to grow UK Restructuring practice with new partner hire

DLA Piper today announces the appointment of James Davison as a partner in its UK Restructuring practice. This appointment follows the recent hire of partner David Manson from Paul Hastings.

James will be joining DLA Piper during the summer from Addleshaw Goddard, where he has been a partner in their London office since 2017. He advises companies, investors and creditors on financial or operational turnaround, as well as contingency planning and M&A. He has broad experience across a number of sectors including travel and leisure, financial services, retail, manufacturing, heavy industry and fin tech.

DLA Piper’s UK Head of Restructuring, Robert Russell, said: “We are investing significantly in strengthening our Restructuring team and James’ appointment, together with the recent arrival of partner David Manson, supports our active growth agenda and complements our ambitious plan for the practice. These hires create an even stronger platform from which to service our clients and will work closely with our existing team to strategically drive the practice forward.”

DLA Piper’s Restructuring practice has had exceptional growth over the last few years attracting a number of high-profile international restructuring mandates including Bristow Helicopters, Four Seasons Health Care and global insolvencies and distressed situations such as Abraaj and Thomas Cook. The UK team has over 50 dedicated lawyers across six offices including Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester and Sheffield. Clients range from debt and equity investors, financial advisers, boards, governments and development banks. The team also advises financial institutions on leveraged, syndicated, club and bilateral matters.

New partner joins DLA Piper’s Intellectual Property and Technology practice in London

DLA Piper is appointing Sophie Lessar as partner to its Intellectual Property and Technology (IPT) Practice. Sophie joins on 1 June and will be based in London.

Sophie joins from Simmons & Simmons where she focused on retail financial services, in particular payment services, e-money, banking products, lending and consumer laws. She also has particular experience in Fintech and has worked on numerous digitisation initiatives undertaken by various established corporates.

Sophie’s appointment is part of a continuing programme of investment into the IPT practice and follows the appointment of Deborah Bould last month. DLA Piper’s IPT practice already has a market leading reputation in the financial services sector and Sophie’s experience will complement this by providing an interface between commercial and regulatory – a fast-moving, specialised area in high demand from both the fintech sector and traditional banks.

Commenting on the appointment, Melinda Upton, Global Co-Chair of DLA Piper’s Intellectual Property & Technology practice, said:

“Sophie has a rare set of skills and experience at the intersection of financial services regulation, payments and technology which will be of great value to our clients, and bolster our already strong technology and growing fintech practice. Sophie’s appointment allows us to offer integrated regulatory input to fintech transactions and provide a valuable link between our market leading technology, financial services regulatory and banking teams in the UK and across the world.”