Prague appointment bolsters Lovells' east Europe presence

LOVELL White Durrant in Prague has landed a leading investment banking specialist as part of a bid to expand its capital markets presence throughout central and eastern Europe.

Simon Hawken, a qualified barrister who has spent most of his career in investment banking, joins Lovells from the Prague office of ING Baring Capital Markets. Hawken set up the ING Baring office in 1991.

The presence of Hawken doubles Lovells’ capital markets presence in Prague.

Hawken said his appointment was part of a steady expansion of the Lovells capital markets team which is based mainly in London.

He said: “It is part of my role to identify good prospects for investment. For example, I am looking closely at the capital markets opportunities in Poland.”

But Hawken would not be drawn on whether Lovells’ interest in Poland could signal the establishment of a permanent presence in the country. He said: “Work from Poland will be serviced in London.”

Lovells showed its eastern and central European ambitions this spring when it became one of the last of the big firms to open a Moscow office.

The practice’s Prague office now has 11 lawyers, including two partners.