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Atlanta-based Troutman Sanders has hired Salans corporate partner Robert Bata as its new London managing partner.
Bata will focus on widening the scope of the firm's London presence. He replaces John Varholy, who will remain in London to head a newly established firmwide global energy trading and marketing group.
Bata said his main task was to significantly expand the firm's London office, with a focus on corporate, M&A and AIM work. Since opening in London in 2001 Troutman has concentrated on energy and emissions trading. With the addition of Bata the firm now has four partners and one associate in London, and the intention is to expand aggressively in the coming months.
Prior to joining Salans, Bata was managing partner of Altheimer & Gray's London office, and headed its Central and Eastern European (CEE) operations, building up strong connections in the region. Bata said the CEE region will play a role in Troutman's development, although he stressed that London will be his main focus for the time being.
"We're definitely not at all writing off further expansion in Europe, but right now my focus is heavily on London and our existing international network," he said.
On welcoming Bata to the firm, Troutman chairman and managing partner Robert Webb said: "He has a great track record of building offices in Europe and London."
Bata joined Salans as a partner in 2003, where he focused on M&A and private equity transactions in the energy and telecommunications industries.
Salans chairman Stephen Finch said: "Rob leaves with our good wishes and we wish him well for the future."