Akin Gump bolsters City funds team with double Simmons hire

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has boosted its London funds group and English law capabilities with the hire of two financial services partners from Simmons & Simmons.

Financial services lawyers Tim Pearce and Ian Meade were both partners at Simmons. They are expected to join Akin Gump over the next few months.

Steven Blakeley, the partner in charge of Akin Gump’s London office, said the pair’s arrival would give the US firm strength in depth on the English law side of the firm’s funds practice.

“We already have an English law partner in Simon Thomas as well as five associates and we were already looking to grow our associate base,” added Blakeley. “Now with Tim and Ian’s arrival we’ll be looking to grow it even more.”

Blakeley said the arrival of the Simmons partners fitted with the London strategy of “building on the strengths of the firm”.

“We’ve built a strong funds practice on the private equity and hedge side,” added Blakeley. “Their arrival will help us continue with that. We already know them very well and have some mutual clients.”

Blakeley declined to name any shared clients.

The co-head of Akin Gump’s investment funds and private equity practice group Prakash Mehta said in a statement that the investment funds scene globally was rapidly changing and the opportunities for AkinGump’s clients in the UK and internationally were “enormous”.

“Tim and Ian are two well-respected and highly regarded lawyers and bring exceptional insights and experience into this market and the legal and commercial issues on which our clients are increasingly focused,” Mehta added.  

Pearce joined Simmons as an associate in 2002.  He became a partner in the financial services group in 2007.  

Meade joined Simmons as an associate in 2005, becoming a partner in 2008.