Moves: 23 April 2012

After six years in the corporate law team at Trowers & Hamlins, five as a partner, James Lyons has joined Ashfords.

Move of the week

He moves to the firm’s corporate and commercial team as a partner, bringing expertise in M&A, corporate finance and joint ventures in the public and private sectors.

Lyons qualified in 1998, beginning his career at Allen & Overy before moving on to Olswang for six years.

“I’m pleased to be joining Ashfords and look forward to working with the firm’s corporate and commercial team, which has a reputation for providing high-quality service for good value,” he said.

Simon Rous, chairman and head of corporate at Ashfords, added: “We’re delighted to welcome James. He has extensive experience in corporate law and will no doubt be a significant asset for the team.”


Real estate litigator Richard Evans has been promoted from associate to partner at Memery Crystal. He joins the real estate litigation partnership on 1 May.

Bond Pearce has recruited Simon Gildener as a partner in its insurance professional risks team in London. He moves from the international professional and financial lines practice group at Clyde & Co, where he was a partner.

The London restructuring practice at DLA Piper has been bolstered with the appointment of partner Justin Conway, who moves from Goldman Sachs, where he was an executive director and senior counsel. He has experience in the Emea debt trading market.

Two senior lawyers have been elected to the partnership at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. M&A and corporate lawyer Scott Hopkins has been promoted in the London office, as has leading international arbitration lawyer Penny Madden, who will move to the Singapore office in 2013 to develop the firm’s arbitration practice in Asia.

Field Fisher Waterhouse has appointed partner Hartley Foster to its tax group. Foster specialises in contentious tax matters and joins from Olswang, where he was a partner.

Probate and trust litigation practice Frydenson & Co has added consultant Kathy Taylor from KPMG, where she was a legal consultant.

South East

Regional law firm Birketts has recruited solicitor Marie Batchelor for its commercial litigation and dispute resolution team in Chelmsford. She joins from Norwich-based Howes Percival, where she was also a solicitor.


Patent and trademark firm Withers & Rogers has announced that Karl Barnfather is its new chairman. Based at the Leamington Spa office, Barnfather has been
the lead partner in the firm’s electronics, computing and physics practice group for eight years.


Irwin Mitchell is expanding its motor team with the appointment of Denny Payton as a partner in its Sheffield office. She was previously a partner at Hill Dickinson.


Field Fisher Waterhouse’s Paris office has hired litigation partner Brigitte Daille-Duclos. Duclos specialises in product liability and industrial risk, and joins the firm from De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés, where she was also a partner.

Norton Rose has announced a double partner hire in Amsterdam. Herman Wamelink has joined as banking partner from Allen & Overy and Maartje Govaert has been hired as an employment partner from De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. Wamelink was a counsel at his old firm and Govaert was a solicitor.

Igor Gorchakov has joined Allen & Overy as a partner in its Moscow-based banking department. The Russian lawyer was a partner at Baker
& McKenzie in St Petersburg for five years.

Corporate partner Christopher Wolff has been appointed chair of Paul Hastings’ Frankfurt office.

He takes over from Peter Smeets.


Suzanne Fine has been appointed as the new director of professional development at Lex Mundi’s Houston headquarters. She joins from Linklaters, where she was global head of professional development.

Weil Gotshal & Manges has announced that Garland Stephens has rejoined the firm as a partner in its patent litigation practice in Houston. He brings experience
with cases involving Apple, Microsoft, Intel and Yahoo, and has returned to the firm from Fish & Richardson, where he was managing principal at the Houston office.

US assistant secretary of commerce John Fernandez has joined SNR Denton as innovation strategy director. This is a new global role to promote the firm in the client services, technology integration and business development sectors.

Government procurement lawyer Robert Nichols has been hired by Covington & Burling to co-chair and expand the firm’s government contracts practice in Washington DC. He moves from Crowell & Moring, where he was a partner.


Private equity partner Niping Wu has joined Kaye Scholer’s Shanghai office as a partner. He was previously head of the Shanghai office at Debevoise & Plimpton.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has welcomed Christopher Betts as partner in its Hong Kong office. Betts has joined Skadden from Paul Hastings, where he
was also a partner.

Hogan Lovells has strengthened its Mongolia practice with the relocation of London-based corporate partner Chris Melville to the firm’s office in Ulaanbaatar. Melville has experience of M&A, joint ventures and corporate finance, working across sectors including energy and natural resources.

The bar

Hailsham Chambers has welcomed barrister Fiona Neale, a specialist in clinical negligence and regulatory law. Neale moves to Hailsham Chambers from 3 Serjeants’ Inn.