Freshfields hires former Cleary US capital markets partner Qureshi

Freshfields has made a landmark lateral hire in the form of former Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton capital markets and US corporate partner Ash Qureshi.

Qureshi quit Cleary’s London office in February 2010 after a decade at the firm, to become executive vice chairman of longstanding firm client Renaissance Group and CEO of Renaissance Asset Managers – an investment management business based in Moscow (2 February 2010).

US-qualified Qureshi, who joined Cleary at 1990 and became a partner nine years later, was widely seen as one of the stars of a team that helped establish the US firm’s emerging markets presence. He will relocate back from Moscow to London to take up his new role at the magic circle firm.

Co-head of Freshfields’ international capital markets practice and head of its US corporate group in Europe and Asia, Sarah Murphy, said: “Capital markets solutions have become increasingly important to our clients and access to the US markets is often critical to achieving their goals.”

Renaissance Group has historically has a strong relationship with Cleary. However, it is also thought to have instructed firms including Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, White & Case, Skadden Arps Meagher & Flom and Latham & Watkins in recent years.

His hire marks the latest in a string of US-qualified capital markets partner moves in the legal market. Last July, Freshfields hired Linklaters’ Singapore partner Arun Balasubramanian to co-head its India group from London. Balasubramanian is a US qualified lawyer, with a focus on India-related capital markets and corporate transactions (9 July 2013).

Slaughter and May made its first-ever lateral hire in Asia in January, in the form of Morrison & Foerster’s co-head of China capital markets, John Moore. The move gifted Slaughters’ a US-law capital markets capability in Hong Kong – a strategy for the firm since 2012 (24 January 2012).

Just yesterday, Freshfields appointed disputes partner Nigel Rawding to head up its arbitration practice in the City following the departure of former chief Constantine Partasides to launch independent boutique Three Crowns (8 April 2014).

The firm is also in the process of selecting its new corporate head, to replace Julian Long who is due to succeed Mark Rawlinson as London managing partner. Insiders suggest that corporate partner Julian Makin and M&A co-head are among the likely candidates for the position (24 March 2014).