White & Case looks to rebuild with five partner promotions

White & Case has made up five new partners in an attempt to plug gaps created by a wave of recent defections.

London-based Jeremy Duffy has been named a partner in the global banking practice, along with Moscow-based Irina Nesvetova and Jonathan Weinberg in Prague.

They are joined by Zeeshan Ahmedani and Philip Power in the global M&A practice in Abu Dhabi.  

The news comes a week after White & Case boosted its boosted its London financial restructuring and insolvency team with the hire of senior Skadden lawyer Christian Pilkington. The firm has also relocated New York-based partner Jake Mincemoyer to London to bolster its local finance practice.

White & Case has been hit his by a series of departures across its international offices since the beginning of the year.

Earlier this month IP specialist Bill Coats left to head up Kaye Scholer’s Silicon Valley Office (1 March). The firm received a further blow when global IT chair Steve Betensky resigned in February (24 February), followed by competition specialist Elaine Johnston, who joined Allen & Overy, and head of metals and mining Tanneke Heersche, who left for Fasken Martineau (22 February).

By far the biggest setback was the defection of 13 partners for Latham & Watkins last month, including four members of the London bank finance and capital markets team, and its co-head Chris Kandel (8 February).

When six Gulf-based partners – including the heads of each of the three regional offices – left for Latham & Watkins and Vinson & Elkins the firm was left without a single partner on the ground in the region (8 February).

The two promotions in the Middle East are a response to this situation. A spokesman for the firm said said of the promotions and relocations, “These are ongoing actions, this is not the end of the process.”

It is understood that Ahmedani had been on track for partnership this year subject to the business case being fulfilled, while Power was fast-tracked into the role.

White & Case also relocated Singapore-based partner Doug Peel to Abu Dhabi to become the office executive partner, alongside the temporary move of London-based project finance partner Saul Daniel.

With the firm still looking for a new sponsor in Saudi Arabia heads there and in the Doha office are yet to be named. Ken Ellis, who has experience in sovereign advisory work, is temporarily in Doha.