Moves: 5 May 2014

Move of the week

Grainne Brankin
Grainne Brankin

Centaur Media has hired Grainne Brankin as general counsel and company secretary. Brankin arrives from Exterion Media (formerly CBS Outdoor), where she was also general counsel. Her in-house background includes time at Yahoo! and she has held private practice roles at Clifford Chance and Bird & Bird.




Latham & Watkins has hired former Carlyle Group in-house counsel Tom Alabaster as a partner in its London office. Alabaster has relocated from Carlyle’s New York office, where he held the mantle of senior counsel for three years.

Curtis David Garrard has hired a team of three from Clyde & Co. Partners Matt Hannaford and Owen McHugh join with associate Tony Price.

Coffin Mew has hired Nick Leavey as a partner and head of its commercial property team. Leavey comes from DMH Stallard, where he was a partner.

Wedlake Bell has recruited Helen Garthwaite as a partner in the construction team. Prior to joining, Garthwaite was a partner at Taylor Wessing, working on developments across the capital.

Reed Smith has secured Nick Brocklesby as a litigation partner. He joins from King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin, where he was made up in 2008. Prior to that he was a senior associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

SGH Martineau has hired former Matthew Arnold & Baldwin restructuring and insolvency partner Christina Fitzgerald.


Thrings has recruited three commercial property lawyers. Partner Edward Jackman joins from Brookstreet Des Roches, where he had been a partner since 2005. Associate Iain Mason comes from Stone King, where he was also an associate, and solicitor Natalia Sokolov arrives from Clarke Willmott, where she was a solicitor.

Sarah Plumridge

Aylesbury-based firm Parrott and Coales has appointed Sarah Plumridge as managing partner. Plumridge will take over from John Leggett, who will retire on 30 April after being managing partner for 19 years. Plumridge was made a partner within two years of joining the firm in 2000. 


Kellie Hatton
Kellie Hatton

The Sheffield office of Irwin Mitchell has appointed Kellie Hatton as an associate in its real estate team. She joins from Berwin Leighton Paisner, where she was a senior associate.


Edinburgh-based firm Davidson Chalmers has promoted environmental lawyer Laura Tainsh from associate to partner. Tainsh joined in 2004 as a newly qualified solicitor and has built a wide-ranging environmental practice.


Ivan Smirnov has been appointed managing partner of Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners’ St Petersburg office. Smirnov joined Egorov Puginsky in 2011 as head of its regulatory department.

Rolf Corsten is joining Luther as of counsel in Düsseldorf. Corsten was responsible for the finances of the city of Viersen for more than 20 years as the city’s treasurer. He also had a lead role in the finance department and financial management company of the German Association of Cities.

Pflüger Rechtsanwälte lawyer Thomas Koeppen has left the employment firm to establish KPN Legal, a boutique firm with offices in Frankfurt and Berlin. The KPN Legal team consists of Gundula Lehr, Boris Zimmermann and Jens Baldtschun. Lehr was most recently at CMS Hasche Sigle.

Dentons has hired 13 real estate lawyers across Europe since the start of the year. Partner Alexandre Poupard from Allen & Overy is now based in Dentons’ Paris office while partner Oren Harpaz and counsel Nir Assido have joined from Tel Aviv firm Yehuda Raveh & Co. In addition, Philipp Windemuth, previously a partner with Orrick, joined with two counsel, Olga Sandler and Joachim Homeister. Also from Orrick is counsel Sabine Wieduwilt, who joins the Frankfurt office.


In Chicago, Jackson Lewis has hired Kirsten Milton as a partner. Milton joins from Morgan Lewis, where she was an associate.

Lowenstein Sandler has hired Christopher Henry as a partner in New York. Henry joins from Ropes & Gray, where he had been a partner since 2006.

In LA, Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise has hired Ryan Houck as an associate. Houck specialises in IP and joins from Kirkland & Ellis, where he was also an associate.

Jackson Lewis has hired Scott Preston, who joins the firm’s Indianapolis office as a partner. He was previously a partner at Littler Mendelson.

K&L Gates has added Jim Wu, a former general counsel with Yahoo Asia Pacific, as a corporate partner in its Taipei and Palo Alto offices.

Asia Pacific

Howse Williams Bowers has grown its Hong Kong base with two new partners, Stacey Devoy and Alison Scott. Devoy joins the firm’s family and matrimonial practice from Withers’ Hong Kong office, where she was promoted to partner in 2012. Scott joins the dispute resolution practice after relocating from Wales, where she was chairwoman of the Residential Property Tribunal, and was previously a partner at legacy Richards Butler in Hong Kong.

Herbert Smith Freehills has strengthened its Asia dispute resolution practice with the relocation of London partner Julian Copeman to Hong Kong. The relocation brings the firm’s total number of dispute partners in Asia to 22. Copeman is a senior commercial litigator. His appointment comes weeks after HSF named Hong Kong-based partner Justin D’Agostino as its new global dispute resolution head.

Withers has hired Samantha Gershon as a consultant in its family practice in Hong Kong. Gershon joins from Hong Kong firm Robertsons, where she was a partner working on complex commercial litigation, public and administrative law. She has more than 15 years’ experience and had previously worked at Mayer Brown JSM in Hong Kong and Simons Muirhead & Burton in London.


Jonathan Speck has been appointed as the managing partner of Mourant Ozannes’ Jersey office, taking over from Daniel Birtwistle, who steps down after a three-year term.

Vannin Capital has made two appointments. Former Appleby partner Nick Verardi, arriving from his role as local group head of corporate and commercial, will join the board while Chris Smith, previously a senior associate at Olswang will join the team as an investment manager.


Nationwide Building Society has hired HSBC’s general counsel Keith Ford to replace outgoing GC Liz Kelly. Ford joined the HSBC Group in 2003 when it acquired HFC Bank, where he had been legal director since 2001. Prior to that Ford was head of legal and compliance at Cheltenham & Gloucester, which he joined in 1994. 


Ince & Co has promoted two lawyers to partnership globally. Customs and excise lawyer Freddy Desplanques (France) and dispute resolution specialist Su Yin Anand (Hong Kong) join the partnership.