European moves: 14 November 2013

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


Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has appointed another former Brussels chief as co-head of its antitrust, competition and trade (ACT) practice (4 November 2013). Brussels-based competition chief David Broomhall took over on 1 November to lead the group with current co-head Martin Klusmann. He succeeds John Davies, who has stepped down from the role to work full time as a partner at the end of his term.

Central & Eastern Europe

Dentons has elected another legacy Salans partner as its new European CEO after a partner vote, seven months after its tripartite merger went live (31 October 2013). Dentons’ co-chair of European corporate, head of Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) and Warsaw managing partner Tomasz Dabrowski will take over from Dariusz Oleszczuk as CEO when the latter’s term ends at the end of the year. Oleszczuk will stay at the firm and a spokesperson said he would remain in the core leadership team but would be taking on a more strategic advisory role.

DLA Piper has boosted its Austria office with the hire of Nabucco International Gas Pipeline’s chief legal counsel Andreas Gunst (4 November 2013). The in-house lawyer will join the energy team as a partner after four years as as chief legal counsel and compliance officer at Nabucco, prior to which he was an associate at DLA Piper’s London and Edinburgh offices.

CMS has launched an office in Istanbul, becoming the latest Western firm to establish a footprint in one of Europe’s fastest-growing economies (7 November 2013). Partners Döne Yalçın and John Fitzpatrick are relocating to Istanbul to head up the new venture, which will also be staffed by a number of associates. The office will focus on project finance and infrastructure work in particular, but will also seek to work in the fields of energy, capital markets and M&A.


A former partner in Cobbetts’ Birmingham office is launching a boutique firm close to Frankfurt (7 November 2013). Jan Becher was a partner in Cobbetts’ commercial team in Birmingham between 2005 and 2011, running the firm’s German desk. More recently, he spent a year and a half as corporate counsel at watchmaker Swatch in Switzerland, and the same amount of time as a counsel at German firm Graf von Westphalen. Becher has teamed up with notary public Rüdiger Rattay to launch the new firm, Rattay & Becher.


Garrigues has made up 14 lawyers to its partnership (31 October 2013). Madrid has gained the most new partners, picking up five across a range of practice areas. A further two partners are promoted in Barcelona, and the Alicante, Murcia, Oporto, Pamplona, Shanghai, Valencia and Vitoria offices each gain one new partner.

Hogan Lovells has recruited tax partner Javier Gazulla Ascoz into its Madrid tax team. Gazulla Ascoz joined the firm on 1 November.  He was hired from KPMG Legal (Madrid), where he was appointed partner in 2011 and previously led the M&A tax department.


William Fry has hired Ashurst corporate partner Eavan Saunders Cole (11 November 2013). Saunders Cole is leaving Ashurst at Christmas to go on maternity leave, and will start work at William Fry next summer.


De Berti Jacchia Franchini Forlani is strengthening its Brussels office by appointing Michela Velardo as resident counsel. Velardo joins the firm from Field Fisher Waterhosue, where she was a senior adviser. She focuses on European litigation.  

Baker & McKenzie is relocating corporate and transactional partner Pietro de Libero from Milan to its Dubai office. De Libero will locally advise Italian clients conducting business in the GCC, as well as Gulf-based investors acquiring and managing assets in Italy.


King & Spalding has recruited Maya Melnikas as a finance partner in its Moscow office. Melnikas joins King & Spalding from White & Case, where she was a partner and co-head of financial restructuring and insolvency in the central and eastern European region.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has announced the hire of banking and finance lawyer Dmitry Shiryaev from Dentons. Shiryaev will lead Akin Gump’s finance team on the ground in Moscow. He was previously of counsel at Dentons and legacy firm SNR Denton.