Bingham makes funds push in City with Herbert Smith Freehills hire

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) funds partner Thiha Tun is to join the London office of US firm Bingham McCutchen, The Lawyer can reveal.

Tun is to join Bingham’s partnership in September but is not expected to take any partners or associates with him. He will work closely with Bingham partner John Holton, who relocated his international funds practice to London from Boston in 2011.

According to a statement from the US firm, which snatched a seven-lawyer investment funds team from White & Case’s Tokyo office in May (13 May 2013), Tun will also work closely with Bingham’s investment management team in the US and Asia.

London managing partner James Roome said: “Thiha’s arrival will bolster our capabilities to offer the combined US and UK funds and regulatory advice that many European fund managers require.”

A number of US firms have launched private equity funds practices in the City in recent years. Among those to have hired partners from some of the big UK players are Debevoise & Plimpton, Kirkland & Ellis, O’Melveny & Myers, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Weil Gotshal & Manges.

The entrants have undoubtedly shaken up the market, with Clifford Chance and SJ Berwin being the source of some of the most significant hires in the past few years.

HSF, meanwhile, has seen a number of its partners leave for US firms over the last 12 months. These include that of London corporate fraud and asset tracing head Simon Bushell, who quit for US firm Latham & Watkins earlier this year (7 February 2013), Moscow partner Dmitry Kurochkin, the firm’s head of disputes for Continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa, who joined Dechert in November (21 June 2012), and Kevin Lloyd, who quit for Debevoise & Plimpton (5 December 2012).

Other exits have included Tokyo head Steve Lewis, who went to Bingham (29 June 2012), City corporate partner Will Pearce, who resigned for Davis Polk & Wardwell (12 November 2012), and finance partner Jason Fox, who left for Bracewell & Giuliani (5 March 2013).

For an analysis on partner exits at HSF, see feature