European moves: 19 September 2013

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


Norton Rose Fulbright has strengthened its Brussels presence with the hire of longstanding Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton corporate and competition partner James Modrall (17 September 2013). Modrall (often known as Jay) has advised on aspects of last year’s takeover of financial services GlobeOp by TPG and has also been involved in Ryanair’s long-running bid for rival Aer Lingus. He has been a partner at Cleary for 18 years, having joined the firm originally in 1986. Modrall advises on the competition aspects of M&A and financial services.

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick has picked up Loyens & Loeff senior counsel Damien Conem as a partner in its corporate team. Conem joins Liedekerke along with two associates, Fanny Guilbert and Raphael Piront.

Belgian firm Koan has hired Bird & Bird partner Ludo Deklerck as an equity partner. Deklerck has worked at Bird & Bird for three years and will strengthen Koan’s corporate team, particularly in the life sciences sector.

Central & Eastern Europe

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom’s only Vienna partner Rainer Wachter is set to leave the firm after a strategic review concluded the office was no longer viable (5 September 2013). Corporate partner Wachter will move to the Austrian firm CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz, which was tied to Skadden when the firm set up in Austria in 1993. He will continue to take on work for Skadden as external counsel.

Schoenherr has hired Johannes Stalzer as a counsel to head its public procurement law team. Stalzer joins the firm from Austrian outfit Weber & Co, where he was a partner.

Czech firm Weinhold Legal has promoted Martin Lukáš to its partnership. Lukáš joined the firm in 1998 and works across a range of practice areas, including corporate, arbitration and restructuring. He is the firm’s sixth partner.

Gide Loyrette Nouel has recruited Réka Berekméri-Varró from Kajtár Takács Hegymegi-Barakonyi Baker & McKenzie as a senior associate in its Budapest pharmaceuticals and healthcare group. Berekméri-Varró advises on the legal issues connected to clinical trials and the distribution and promotion of medical products, as well as other healthcare-related matters.


DLA Piper has continued the growth of its Paris office with the hire of partners from Dentons and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson (10 September 2013). The firm has picked up Fried Frank partner David Chijner and European counsel Noam Anrki, who joins DLA Piper as a partner, to strengthen its restructuring team. Meanwhile Antoine Mercier has joined as a partner in the real estate team from Dentons.

King & Spalding has made its sixth partner hire in Paris with the hire of Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) partner Mehdi Haroun, formerly head of the firm’s North Africa practice (12 September 2013). Haroun joins the US firm along with four other lawyers including HSF partner Philippe Trosset who joins King & Spalding as a counsel. King & Spalding has also recently recruited an associate from French firm Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier to join the team. The team’s experience covers all areas of energy law as well as telecoms, and Haroun also brings significant North African expertise in Algeria, Libya and Morocco in particular.

Stephenson Harwood has picked up Norton Rose Fulbright French litigation partner Barthélemy Cousin in a further boost for its growing contentious team in Paris. Cousin joins Stephenson Harwood a year after the firm pledged to grow its contentious capability in France. He brings with him three associates to help build the practice, one from Norton Rose Fulbright. Cousin’s experience is primarily in banking and finance litigation, particularly in banking-related fraud work.

Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has strengthened its Paris IP team with the hire of Winston & Strawn partner Nathalie Hadjadj-Cazier (10 September 2013). Hadjadj-Cazier began work at FFW at the start of September. She specialises in the registration and defence of IP rights, with a particular focus on contentious work in a broad range of sectors. She spent six years at Winston & Strawn, having joined the firm from DS Avocats in 2007.

Mayer Brown Paris litigation partners Renaud Semerdjian and Christophe Ayela are leaving the firm to launch a new litigation boutique with white collar and crime specialists Francis Szpiner and Caroline Toby (12 September 2013). The boutique will be known as Szpiner Toby Ayela Semerdjian and will be dedicated to complex litigation and risk management. Semerdjian and Ayela joined Mayer Brown four years ago from their own firm, while Szpiner and Toby have practised as a boutique together for several years.

Pinsent Masons has appointed Peter Rosher as partner in its construction arbitration team in Paris. Rosher joins from Clifford Chance, where he was a counsel in the firm’s international arbitration group. He will focus on arbitration in the infrastructure and energy and natural resources sectors.

Olswang has strengthened its French offering with the arrival of two new partners, Karine Audouze and Emeline Peltier. Employment lawyer Audouze joins from French firm Hoche Société d’Avocats where she was a partner. Meanwhile Peltier specialises in real estate, and joins from Dentons where she was an associate. Peltier was previously at legacy firm Salans.

Baker & McKenzie has also hired a former Salans associate from Dentons, picking up pharmaceutical specialist Julie Yeni as a partner in Paris. Yeni focuses on the healthcare sector, advising both domestic and international companies on litigation matters.

Lefèvre Pelletier & Associés has hired Baker & McKenzie local partner Evelyne Bagdassarian as a partner in its tax department. Bagdassarian had worked at Baker & McKenzie since 2011 and deals with a range of tax issues.


French firm Lefèvre Pelletier & Associés is expanding its German presence through the launch of a Munich office and the hire of a sixth partner in Frankfurt (10 September 2013). The Munich launch sees the bolt-on of local firm fkstpartners, with all four lawyers joining as partners. The team includes banking and finance lawyer Andreas Feuerstein, M&A and tax specialist Bernd Spieth, corporate real estate and renewable energy lawyer Oliver Kirfel and real estate and commercial lawyer Fabian Tross.

Clifford Chance is relocating two partners to its Munich office to extend the range of advisory services available (18 September 2013). Frankfurt corporate and restructuring partner Arndt Stengel and Düsseldorf-based pharmaceutical specialist Marc Holtorf have both moved to Munich, and senior associate Anne Britta Haas is also moving alongside Holtorf.

Noerr has strengthened its private equity team with the hire of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom European counsel Tobias Koppmann. Koppmann joins the German firm in its Munich office.


Luis Berenguer, former president of Spain’s National Competition Commission and also former chairman of the European Parliament committee on industry, foreign trade, research and energy, has joined Broseta to reinforce the Spanish firm’s competition team. Berenguer joins the firm as a senior advisor.


Mason Hayes & Curran has appointed Micheál Grace as head of its London office and promoted him to partner. Grace relocated to London late last year to take over from former London head John Kettle, who moved to Australia. He advises UK clients on Irish banking and finance transactions and is also a member of Mason Hayes’ projects and energy group.

Offshore firm Maples and Calder has hired Mason Hayes tax partner David Burke as of counsel in its Dublin office. Burke became a partner at Mason Hayes in November 2011, having previously worked in London at US firms Sidley Austin and Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft.


A trio of partners from Labruna Mazziotti Segni are quitting the firm with a team of lawyers in the New Year (17 September 2013). Rome-based corporate partners Antonio Segni, Andrea Mazziotti di Celso and Federico Vermicelli will all leave the firm, taking a “group of professionals” on 1 January. The group is joining fellow Italian corporate boutique Lombardi Molinari e Associati, which was set up by a team from Pedersoli e Associati in 2004. Lombardi Molinari will add ’Segni’ to its branding as a result of the hires.

Russia & CIS

Dentons has opened a new satellite office in Astana, its second office in Kazakhstan (4 September 2013). The new office will be headed by newly promoted partner Birzhan Zharasbayev, who joined legacy Salans’ Almaty office in 2006 and was recently joined the partnership. Zharasbayev focuses on construction and real estate, infrastructure and PPP projects.

Baker & McKenzie has added Kamil Valiyev as a partner in its oil and gas practice in Baku, Azerbaijan. Valiyev joins Baker & McKenzie from SOCAR (State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic), where he served as the chief of the department for legal support of international projects.