European moves: 18 April 2013

All the latest partner hires and other appointments within Continental European firms and offices.


Belgian corporate boutique Strelia has made its first lateral hire since its foundation, picking up former White & Case corporate partner Gisèle Rosselle (21 March 2013). Rosselle specialises in corporate and corporate finance transactions and will join Strelia’s M&A and corporate group, alongside founding partners Olivier Clevenbergh and Henri Culot. Strelia is planning further associate hires to complement the growing team.

US firm Steptoe & Johnson has announced the hire of three professionals from Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) for its international environment and life sciences team in Brussels, including partner Ruxandra Cana (12 April 2013). Cana has moved to the US firm along with a senior associate and senior adviser Michel Michaux, who is a chemical engineer.

Speechly Bircham is to move to larger offices in Luxembourg in a bid to “pursue future growth plans” in the financial services centre, a move that follows the hire of Clifford Chance corporate counsel François Lerusse as a partner (16 April 2013). Lerusse, who joins the firm with Clifford Chance senior associate Hélène Arvis, will become the third partner at Speechly’s Luxembourg office along with corporate and banking partner Françoise Pfeiffer, who is head of the base, and funds partner David Louis.

Hunton & Williams has hired Covington & Burling lawyer Geneviève Michaux as a counsel in its Brussels office. Michaux joins the firm’s food and drugs group. She advises pharmaceutical companies and medical and cosmetic manufacturers on EU, Belgian and French law and regulatory issues.

Houthoff Buruma has hired two lawyers. Laura Parret joins the firm from the Belgian Competition Council, while corporate and finance lawyer Peter Werdmuller moves from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Parret will be based in Brussel, while Werdmuller joins the firm’s Rotterdam office.

Boekel De Nerée has relocated real estate lawyer Dirk-Jan Gondrie to London from the Netherlands. Gondrie will work alongside London managing partner Angelique Thiele.

Central & Eastern Europe

CHSH Dezső has elected Tamás Polauf as co-managing partner alongside Attila Dezső. The firm made the decision to appoint a second managing partner due to the increasing work and the firm’s cooperation with other offices of CHSH, which is headquartered in Austria.

Romanian firm Magda Volonciu & Associates has joined employment alliance L&E Global. Magda Volonciu is the 15th firm to join the alliance, which was launched in 2011.


Clifford Chance is hiring Ashurst’s French fund formation chief Xavier Comaills and a team of lawyers to lead the firm’s Paris private funds group (11 April 2013). Comaills will join the magic circle firm along with four lawyers including counsel Tiana Rambatomanga. He moved to Ashurst in 2008 from SJ Berwin with the mandate of creating a funds team at the firm.

A trio of senior corporate partners from Gide Loyrette Nouel’s Paris office have teamed up with a former Gide partner to launch a new M&A boutique (22 March 2013). Antoine Bonnasse, Youssef Djehane and Jean-Emmanuel Skovron will launch BDGS Partners along with former colleague Antoine Gosset-Grainville, who is currently deputy managing director of state-run financial body the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC). The quartet are joined initially by two junior partners, Gide associate Max Baird-Smith, who is dual-qualified in England and France, and Mathilde Damon, who is currently head of legal for the Agence des Participations de l’Etat (the French Government Shareholding Agency).

US firm Reed Smith has launched a competition practice in Paris with the hire of Hogan Lovells antitrust, competition and economic regulation co-head Michel Debroux (10 April 2013). Debroux joined Hogan Lovells from Clifford Chance in 2005. He is the latest in a string of hires coming into the US firm’s Paris office, with recent additions including finance partner Alexandre Tron and senior associate Olivier Borenstejn, who both joined in December from Jeantet Associés.

French independent Racine has hired a team of restructuring lawyers from Wragge & Co’s Paris office. Laurent Jourdan and Barna Evva join Racine as partners, alongside lawyers Brigitte Bezard-de Rougé, Sandra Graslin-Latour and Mana Rassouli. The team joined Wragges from Lefèvre Pelletier & Associés in 2010.

Canadian firm McCarthy Tétrault has hired Fabrice Rué as a correspondent lawyer based in Paris and with a focus on African projects work. Rué joins from his own firm, but was previously head of DLA Piper’s corporate, energy and finance groups in Paris.

Jones Day has hired Mayer Brown associate Florent Bouyer as a counsel in its Paris banking practice. Bouyer works on finance and capital markets work and has advised French and international banks.

French independent Orsay Avocats has hired a duo of partners to strengthen its international capabilities, including one from Nixon Peabody in Paris (11 April 2013). The firm has hired Nixon Peabody partner Douglas Glucroft, one of the last moves from the US firm’s now-closed Paris office. Meanwhile, former Jones Day lawyer Thierry Schwarzman is joining Orsay from boutique Vendome Law, which he co-founded.

Employment firm Capstan Avocats has promoted four lawyers to its partnership. Thomas Salomé is made up in Paris, Nicolas Christau in Toulouse, and Marie-Pierre Olive and Luc Bachelot in Lyon.


Former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer senior partner Konstantin Mettenheimer is set to join asset manager Edmond de Rothschild Group this summer as its Germany chairman (15 April 2013). The Frankfurt tax partner will be chairman for the Franco-Swiss bank’s businesses in Germany, including its asset management, private banking and advisory services. Based in Frankfurt, Mettenheimer will join Rothschild this summer following a handover period. He will replace Rupert Hengster, who headed the group’s German base since the launch of the asset management arm in the country in 2010. Hengster is leaving the company.

Clifford Chance corporate partner Daniela Weber-Rey has been appointed as chief governance officer and deputy global head of compliance at Deutsche Bank (17 April 2013). Weber-Rey will start work on 1 June. In the governance role, she will report to management board member Stephan Leithner, while she will report to Andrew Procter, Deutsche Bank’s global head of government and regulatory affairs, in the compliance role.

Bird & Bird has appointed Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer counsel Matthias Winter as partner in its aviation and German banking and finance teams in Frankfurt. Winter’s work includes aircraft leasing transactions, the financing of mobile equipment, project financing and various different fund structures.

Watson Farley & Williams has appointed partner Axel Löhde to strengthen its German corporate practice. Löhde was previously the founding partner of the corporate boutique Löhde Leo Schmidt – Holburg & Witte (LLSW). His practice focuses on establishing and restructuring companies, M&A transactions and IT outsourcing.

Field Fisher Waterhouse has recruited Stefanie Greifeneder as a partner and Andrea Veh as a senior associate to its Munich office. Both join in May from the Munich office of legacy Salans, now Dentons. Greifeneder specialises in IP in the life sciences sector and was previously a counsel at Salans, while Veh was an associate.

Taylor Wessing’s Germany managing partner Wolfgang Rehmann is returning to full-time fee-earning, over a decade after leading legacy firm Wessing into a merger with Taylor Joynson Garrett (25 March 2013). Rehmann will be replaced as Germany managing partner by Michael-Florian Ranft, who was elected to the role at a partner meeting in Hamburg in March. Ranft was previously international head of Taylor Wessing’s China Group, and will also continue to lead the practice internationally. Joachim Glatter is taking over from Ranft as German China group head.


Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira has appointed six new partners at its first general meeting of 2013 in Barcelona. Three of the new partners are in the Madrid office – corporate finance lawyer Jaime de la Torre, employment lawyer Ignacio Jabato and criminal specialist Alfredo Domínguez. Ismael González and Nuria Nicolau, both tax specialists, are promoted in Barcelona while white collar crime lawyer Paulo de Sá e Cunha is made up in Lisbon. The firm now has 233 partners.

Cuatrecasas also announced the hire of Rui Mayer as a partner in Lisbon. Mayer joins the firm from Grupo Galp Energia, where he was director of the legal department, and will coordinate the development of the firm’s oil, gas and mining practice.

Russia & CIS

Ukranian firm Integrites has hired corporate support and tax partner Alexander Grantovsky from Ernst & Young. Grantovsky will coordinate the firm’s tax and project finance practices.

Italian firm De Berti Jacchia Franchini Forlani has hired senior associate Rustem Karimullin from the Moscow office of Beiten Burkhardt.


Bird & Bird has formed a strategic cooperation agreement covering French-speaking Switzerland with local firm BCCC Avocats, the latest in the technology firm’s aggressively ramped up international expansion strategy (3 April 2013). This agreement is the second signed by Bird & Bird this year, following tie-ups in Australia and Denmark in March.