Gibson Dunn in UK hires rival partner

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher is boosting its UK capability by taking on a highly-rated project finance partner from rival US firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Andrew Thomas, who was with Akin Gump for three years, is the first lateral hire Gibson Dunn has made under the leadership of Nomura’s former general counsel Stephen Ball, who joined the firm in April to expand its UK office.

Thomas, who is a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong, specialises in advising export credit agencies and commercial lenders on a worldwide basis.

On Thomas’ reasons for leaving, head of Akin Gump’s international corporate fin-ance practice Steve Hatfield says: “He thought that there were better opportunities for him there.”

Akin Gump is moving US-based associate Brandon Bennett to help cope with an influx of corporate work at the firm. He is currently negotiating with a US partner, who he refuses to name, about moving over to bolster the London office.