On the move

DLA Piper has announced the ­appointment of Debra Erni as a partner to its finance and projects group.

Debra Erni
Debra Erni

Move of the week

Erni joins the asset finance team and will frequently work from the firm’s Moscow office. She joins DLA Piper from White & Case, where she was a senior associate in the asset finance team specialising in aircraft financing and leasing related matters. Erni previously worked in Japan for almost a decade, including at ­Clifford Chance, and developed strong ­relationships with Japanese banks and ­aviation companies. “Debra’s breadth of ­practice and the impressive relationships she has built throughout her career will enable us to strengthen our offering in both the UK and Russia and secure new work for the firm in Japan,” said international group head of the finance and projects group Bob Charlton.



Moon Beever has taken on three new lawyers: Christopher Burt, Simon Duncan and Marina Haigh. Burt joins from regional firm Blake Lapthorn and specialises in insolvency, ­commercial fraud and general commercial ­litigation. Duncan spent 12 years as an interest rate trader before deciding on a career switch; he qualified as a solicitor at Davies Arnold Cooper in 2009. Haigh qualified as a solicitor in 2011.

Bond Pearce has recruited Claire Coleman as a partner in its IT practice. Coleman joins from Royal Mail Group, where she supported an IT transformation programme.


South West

Bond Pearce has netted Ben Weinberger as director of IT and facilities and Shaun Harvey as finance director. Weinberger is a US-qualified lawyer and joins from Lathrop & Gage, where he was chief information officer. Harvey joins the firm from Wincanton, one of Europe’s providers of supply chain solutions, where he was finance director for the retail sector. He will be ­responsible for leading Bond Pearce through the current strategic challenges in the legal sector. Both Weinberger and Harvey will be based in the firm’s Bristol office.


Two partners have joined Newcastle-based Hay & Kilner. Richard Freeman-Wallace has been appointed to the firm’s commercial property ­division. He was previously head of commercial property at Watson Burton. Also joining is ­Alison Hall, a private capital expert moving from Ward Hadaway, where she was a partner.


Field Fisher Waterhouse has boosted its Munich litigation practice with the hire of ­partner Sibylle Schumacher. She focuses on national and international arbitration ­proceedings, civil ­litigation and compliance ­projects. Schumacher joins from Weil Gotshal & Manges, where she headed has the litigation practice since 2009.

Finland’s Hammarström Puhakka Partners has invited dual-qualified English solicitor and Finnish attorney Andrew Cotton to join its ­partnership. Cotton is a corporate and ­commercial lawyer, specialising in both inbound and outbound cross-border transactions in a range of sectors including mobile and telecoms, technology, pharmaceutical and retail.

Bird & Bird has announced the arrival of ­partner Laurence Clot, who joins to lead the firm’s tax practice group in Paris. Clot brings three ­colleagues with her who will work closely with the firm’s international sector groups. Clot and her team join from Landwell & Associés, part of the PricewaterhouseCoopers network.

Ilja Morée has unveiled plans to return to the Amsterdam office of De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek as a senior associate in the firm’s intellectual property practice. Morée comes from AstraZeneca, where she was director of legal affairs and vice-president of corporate and legal affairs. She was previously with De Brauw from 1995 to 2003, after which she was with Bristows in London for a year.

Hogan Lovells Frankfurt project finance ­partner Christian Knütel has moved to the ­Hamburg office. The move forms part of the firm’s strategy to strengthen its global ­infrastructure and project finance practice in its major jurisdictions. Knütel is joined in Hamburg by associate Carla Luh, bringing project finance capacity to the Hamburg office for the first time.

Entertainment, media and copyright lawyer Kristina Delfin Kanceljak has joined Croatia-based Divjak Topic & Bahtijarevic and will head the firm’s newly formed media and ­entertainment department. Most recently, she managed her own firm, Law Office of Kristina Delfin Kanceljak.

Tax specialist Oliver Lindloff has joined Luther’s Hamburg office as of counsel. He

has worked as an independent tax advisor in ­Hamburg since 2007. Also new to the Hamburg office is tax specialist Antje Faass. She was ­accredited as a German tax advisor in 2003.

Markus Hill has returned to SJ Berwin as a partner in its Frankfurt tax team. He rejoins the firm after a three-year absence, during which he ran his own boutique tax advisory practice. He originally joined SJ Berwin as a partner in 2002.

José Pedro Fazenda Martins has joined Portugal’s Vieira de Almeida & Associados as of counsel for the capital markets area of ­practice. He was previously the head of the ­markets and corporate finance department at the ­Portuguese Securities Commission.


DLA Piper has announced the appointment of Chris Lin as of counsel to the firm’s employment, pensions and benefits team in Asia. Based in

the Beijing office, Lin will focus on DLA’s PRC ­employment practice. He joins DLA from Dell, where he was senior counsel for Greater China and employment law practice lead for the Asia-Pacific region.

HWL Ebsworth has revealed that Robert ­Gibson has joined the firm as an M&A partner in Sydney. His practice focuses primarily on ­privately negotiated transactions. Prior to joining HWL, Gibson was a member of the Mallesons Stephen Jaques M&A team for 14 years.



Joshua Smith has joined Winston & Strawn’s corporate finance practice in Charlotte, North Carolina, as of counsel. Smith’s practice focuses on leveraged finance, private equity, and other syndicated bank loan transactions. He joins ­Winston from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft.



Harneys has strengthened its transactional capacity in the Cayman Islands with the addition of finance and corporate lawyer Louise Groom. She was previously with Walkers in the Cayman Islands and spent seven years with Clifford Chance in London and Singapore before moving offshore in 2008. Groom’s areas of expertise include secured lending, asset, project, ­acquisition and structured finance.

The Bar

Barrister Amanda Sehat has joined Trinity Chambers as a tenant following her recent ­successful completion of pupillage. Sehat will work between Newcastle and Middlesbrough.

She will be a member of Trinity’s person injury, family, employment, chancery and business ­practice groups.