European moves: 18 October 2012

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


Swedish firm Magnusson has launched an office in Latvia’s capital Riga after hiring a team from Baltic firm Varul (4 October 2012). The office will be led by a founding partner of Varul, Gints Vilgerts, who led the firm’s Latvian operations from Riga. He has brought with him the firm’s entire Riga team, comprising of four partners and eight lawyers. It is understood that Varul’s Riga office has subsequently closed.


UK media boutique Wiggin is to open its first international office in Brussels with Motion Picture Association’s (MPA) European legal head Ted Shapiro (11 October 2012). According to the firm, the office, which is due to open in January 2013, will meet client demand for pan-European copyright advice and will focus on copyright and content protection issues affecting new media, e-commerce, data protection, trade consumer protection, content regulation, competition, state aid and tax.

US firm Steptoe & Johnson has hired Pieter Bekker as a partner in its international arbitration group in Brussels. Bekker was most recently a partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf until the firm dissolved, and is also the chair of international law at the University of Dundee in Scotland.

Central & Eastern Europe

Austrian firm Schoenherr has announced a full merger with its Turkish cooperation partner CTK Türkoğlu & Celepçi (9 October 2012). The two firms have been in a formal cooperation since 2010, having worked together since 2007. At a partner meeting at the end of September Schoenherr partners voted unanimously in favour of the merger. The tie-up will become effective on 1 February 2013, the start of Schoenherr’s business year.

Salans has appointed Igor Ostrowski as a partner and head of its Central and Eastern European IP, technology and communications Practice. He will be based in Salans’ Warsaw office. Ostrowski joins Salans from the Polish Ministry of Administration and Digitistion, where he has been deputy minister for the last three years.

Gábor Czike has been appointed as leader of the CMS real estate and construction sector group in Central and Eastern Europe. Czike already heads the real estate practice in Budapest. His appointment follows the departure of partner Hilary McDowell who, after over 20 years’ service at CMS, is joining a longstanding CMS client, where she has been on secondment since June.


Jones Day has recruited a structured products team from Gide Loyrette Nouel in Paris led by partner Alban Caillemer du Ferrage (8 October 2012). Caillemer du Ferrage joins Jones Day along with of counsel Quian Hu, counsel Karole-Anne Sauvet and associates Clément Saudo and Mathilde Nicand.

Eversheds has recruited two employment partners from Winston & Strawn’s Paris office, just a year after the pair joined the US firm (5 October 2012). Partners Philippe Desprès and Déborah Attali join Eversheds only 13 months after moving to Winston & Strawn from Gide Loyrette Nouel.

Weil Gotshal & Manges is hiring Linklaters finance partner Olivier Jauffret, just weeks after losing finance head Emmanuel Ringeval to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (9 October 2012). The Lawyer understands that Jauffret is to join the US firm as a partner, alongside Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer finance of counsel James Clarke. Clarke will become a partner at Weil, having worked in Freshfields’ London, Paris and Brussels offices in the past. Jauffret has worked at Linklaters since 1994 and became a partner in 2002.

Bersay & Associés is welcoming Yves de Chaisemartin as an of counsel. De Chaisemartin is returning to the law after a long break holding various roles in business. Most recently he was chairman of the management board of Groupe Altran Technologies and its president and CEO until 2011.


Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has hired a third partner from Shearman & Sterling in Germany as it bulks up its German offering (8 October 2012). Tax partner Johannes Frey joins Skadden after six years as a partner at Shearman. He rejoins former colleagues Stephan Hutter and Katja Kaulamo, who were hired by Skadden earlier this year. Skadden also announced the appointment of Bernd Mayer as German practice leader. Mayer succeeds Hilary Foulkes, who is relocating to London.

Luther has hired Hennerkes, Kirchdörfer & Lorz partner Armind Weinand as a partner in its Stuttgart office. Weinand advises family-owned companies and entrepeneurs on corporate matters.


Mason Hayes & Curran has promoted senior associate Daragh O’Shea as a partner in its financial services team. O’Shea focuses on transactional banking with a particular emphasis on acquisition finance, property finance and general corporate finance.


NCTM has hired a corporate team from Simmons & Simmons’ Milan office including partner Riccardo Papetti (15 October 2012). Papetti is bringing of counsel Michaela Castelli and two associates with him to NCTM. He advises on M&A and private equity, with clients including Permira. Papetti has been a partner at Simmons since 2006, having joined the firm in 2002.

Legance is moving into London, unveiling plans to open a City office next year following the hire of a partner from Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners (15 October 2012). The Italian firm has hired Gianni Origoni partner Marco Gubitosi to head the new operation and will also relocate other lawyers to the City when the office formally launches in the new year.


Finnish firm Roschier has launched a brands team through a merger with IP outfit Benjon (9 October 2012). Benjon brings a team of seven IP lawyers and professionals, plus paralegals, IP assistants and support staff, to Roschier. Roschier already has a sizeable IP team, which was recently bolstered by the appointment of Astra Zeneca in-house counsel Håkan Sterner.

Russia and CIS

Luxembourg firm Arendt & Medernach has launched a Moscow office in response to an increasing demand for Luxembourg products from Russian clients (9 October 2012). The firm is setting up a small representative office in the Russian capital and will practise Luxembourg law. The office will be headed by finance partner Max Kremer and will also be staffed by Russian speakers.