Shearman in bid to shore up UK with Freshfields hires

Shearman & Sterling is to rebuild its London office with the hire of two partners from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer following a string of high-level partner losses.

Freshfields structured finance partner Ian Harvey-Samuel and former Freshfields corporate partner Lois Moore will both join the London office of the New York firm in January as partners.

Harvey-Samuel resigned from Freshfields today after voting on both hires by Shearman’s partnership closed yesterday (12 December). Moore had already retired at the end of October to take advantage of the Freshfields’ favourable pension terms.

Moore’s hire, in addition to the promotion of M&A senior associate James Comyn to the firm’s partnership in January, rebuilds Shearman’s London corporate team to six partners – four UK-qualified and two US-qualified.

Shearman’s London office has suffered several high-profile corporate partner losses over the last 14 months. Most notably Jonathan Coppin defected to Hogan & Hartson in July while Adrian Knight quit for Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in November last year.

Corporate partner Peter King told The Lawyer: “We’re in a period high demand. There’s been a lot of M&A work around and we were at a disadvantage by not having enough people to handle it. It’s not just an increase in capacity. They’re also talented people.”

Comyn’s promotion to the partnership coincides with 10 others globally – five in New York, one in Washington DC, one in Menlo Park, two in Germany and one in Tokyo.

Harvey-Samuel joins the London structured finance team, bringing the team to four partners. His clients include HSBC, HBOS, UBS, ABN Amro, Citibank and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Moore had been a partner at Freshfields for 17 years. Her clients include Hewlett Packard, Carlson and Cambrex Corporation.