Dewey Ballantine sets up international reform practice

NEW YORK firm Dewey Ballantine is hiring from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to set up an international legislative reform practice.

Herbert Morais, senior assistant general counsel at the IMF, and Ian Newport, chief counsel for Europe and Central Asia at the World Bank, join the firm as senior policy advisers, but become partner and counsel respectively when they are licensed to practice as foreign lawyers in Washington DC.

Morais is qualified in Malaysia and Singapore, and Newport is an English-qualified barrister.

The group will advise sovereign governments and their agencies on changes to policy and legal systems. Chairman of Dewey’s management committee Everett Jassy says: “We’ll use people in Central Europe and London who are working on transactional work full time.”

He says the practice area is a way of cementing relationships with governments and big international institutions. The firm has already worked on a revision of tax laws in Indonesia and a legal reform project in Ukraine, but the plan is to bring it together in a more focused group.

“We have the qualifications – from the work we’ve already done, the location of our offices, and from these individuals, who are well known in the market,” Jassy says.

Other firms in the legislative reform business include Clifford Chance, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and White & Case.