Shearmans reshuffles key partners in the UK and US

New York firm Shearman & Sterling is reshuffling its Silicon Valley management and sending out one of its senior London partners.

Head of the Bay Area Peter Lyons will return to New York after just one year in the post. He will be replaced by London partner John Wilson, a senior US securities lawyer who has been based in London for five years, before which he worked in New York and Paris.

His practice focuses on securities, joint ventures, private equity and working for technology, media and telecoms companies. His clients include Nokia, STMicroelectronics, Dassault Systemes and Freeserve.

His remit is to build up the offices in San Francisco and Menlo Park, and he will aim to strengthen their links with Europe and Asia.

Lyons, who moved to Silicon Valley in June 2000, will move back to New York, where he will continue as co-head of the firm’s 185-lawyer global M&A group.

One partner says: “John Wilson’s been in Europe for a number of years and he’s now going back to head that up. We suffered some defections from the Valley office a year ago, and at that time one of our US M&A partners [Peter Lyons] went across there, essentially to hold the fort. But that was always only going to be a temporary thing.”

The firm will send Andrew Schleider, a corporate finance partner specialising in high-yield debt work, to London to replace Wilson. He shares Wilson’s strong relationship with investment bank Morgan Stanley and so will not change the capability of the office.

Wilson takes with him relationships with Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, and with private equity houses Morgan Stanley Capital Partners and Soros Private Equity Partners.