Akin Gump doubles its London partnership

Washington DC firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is more than doubling the size of its London partnership with three new arrivals.

Carl Liederman is joining from the firm’s Washington office, while two other lateral hire partners arrive from rival US firms. Jacqueline Maitland Davies is moving to London from Washington rival Williams & Connolly, while Frederick Heller joins from Atlanta firm Kilpatrick Stockton, where he headed the London and Brussels offices.

All three join the corporate practice group, enhancing the capacity to deal with cross-border M&A and media and telecoms work.

They join the head of the office Stephen Hatfield, who launched the office in 1997, and partner John Edwards. Hatfield says: “We’ve brought over some younger people, so we’re about 12 or 14 lawyers now and looking to make that up. We’ve always wanted to have a corporate finance-driven practice in London, and we think that all these lawyers help us with that in some respect.”

Davies already knew the firm when she was in Washington. Her practice negotiates publishing and talent agreements, handles media joint ventures for public figures and advises on executive compensation and corporate governance.

Akin Gump merged in September with an environmental boutique in Washington called Cutler & Stanfield. That firm acts for construction giant Skanska, which last year took over Kvaerner and is active in Europe.

Heller has a longstanding relationship with Skanska in London, so teamed up with the Cutler group at Akin Gump. He also acts for telecoms groups such as Bell South.

Liederman is working on a number of high-yield debt offerings in Europe alongside Hatfield.

Akin Gump’s London clients include the likes of Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Bankers Trust, DLJ and ING Barings.