O’Neill joins the US firm’s London corporate practice, bringing the total number of partners at GTM to 15.
The firm’s London head Paul Maher said O’Neill’s move is part of GTM’s strategic focus on building a corporate and M&A practice in the City.
Maher said: “It’s important for us to build up in this area. We’ll be continuing to look for good corporate lawyers for London. Laura’s a good fit for us. Her experience in Africa’s also a real asset for us. It has great synergies with our capital markets team.”
Maher added that part of the firm’s strategy is to focus on Africa as an emerging market, capitalising on the experience of former White & Case partners Tim Jeveons, Andrew Croxford and Andrew Caunt. While at White & Case Jeveons played a significant role in developing the US firm’s Africa practice.
While at SJ Berwin O’Neill focused her transactional practice in particular on India and Africa. She also has strong links with property trading and development company CPC Group.
Last year The Lawyer reported that O’Neil and SJ Berwin real estate head Bryan Pickup led a team from the firm advising CPC Group on its sale to Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company (25 November 2008).