A&O hires Shearman finance partner

With sterling rallying against the dollar, firms have continued to show their commitment to the London market with significant hires this week.

Allen & Overy has hired Marwa Elborai, who has defected to the magic circle after more than 16 years at Shearman & Sterling. US qualified leveraged finance partner Elborai —who is ranked as a leading individual by The Legal 500 which describes her as ‘exceptional’ with ‘excellent sector knowledge, skills and commercial acumen’ — was promoted in 2016 and brings experience in high-yield debt offerings, US federal securities law, leveraged finance, project bond offerings, general debt capital markets transactions and debt restructurings.

Denise Gibson and Nicholas Clark, global co-heads of the leveraged finance group, told Legal Business: ‘Having Marwa join the team delivers immediate upside from a client synergy perspective. She is very client driven and collaborative, and teaming her business with ours will be a great example of one plus one equals three.’

Also in London, Goodwin has launched its UK employment practice with the hire of Alex Fisher. Fisher blends contentious and non-contentious employment advice and joins from Travers Smith after more than 13 years at the UK firm.

Rob Hale, chair of Goodwin’s employment practice, said: ‘Extending our premier employment practice into Europe is an important step as we continue to provide a holistic, seamless service to clients worldwide across our key industries of focus: private equity, real estate, technology, life sciences and financial services.

‘Alex’s experience and capabilities span transactional, advisory and contentious work, which will further enhance our UK client offering. We are delighted he is joining the London team.’

This is the latest expansion of the firm’s London office that has more than doubled in size since January 2020, which now houses over 200 lawyers. This has included the firm’s launch of several new practices in the UK in 2022 through the hires of capital markets partner Ariel White-Tsimikalis, antitrust and competition partner Sarah Jordan and executive compensation and incentives partner Saba Rais.

Meanwhile, Mishcon de Reya has bolstered its arbitration practice with the addition of Eversheds Sutherland’s Greg Falkof. He adds infrastructure, energy, transport, engineering and construction disputes experience, which complements the firm’s hire of fellow arbitration partner Alexander Slade who joined in February from Vinson & Elkins where he was counsel.

Staying on the arbitration theme, Milbank has hired commercial arbitration partner Viren Mascarenhas across the Atlantic. Mascarenhas, who has a focus on the energy sector and mining industries, joined the firm’s New York office from King & Spalding after more than eight years at the firm, before which he was a senior associate at Freshfields.

Elsewhere, Squire Patton Boggs has added a private equity and M&A team in Madrid. Carlos Blanco joined from Roca Junyent alongside senior associate Javier Arenas and associates Elena Ferrer and Íñigo Oliván.

Paul Mann, European head of private equity commented: ‘He is the latest addition to our ongoing strategic expansion across Europe, joining just two weeks after we announced the launch of a Dublin office with PE and corporate partner Dennis Agnew and a month after Sascha Konwalski arrived in Frankfurt. Carlos joins a team in Madrid that is firing on all cylinders and, together with our expanded platform in Europe, creating all kinds of business opportunities for our PE clients in Europe.’

This continues a recent flurry of global heavyweights boosting their practices in the Spanish capital. In September, Latham & Watkins hired Linklaters senior partner and The Legal 500 Hall of Famer Alejandro Ortiz into its M&A practice. The Magic Circle stalwart responded a week later by bringing in Latham’s Sebastián Albella, a former chairman of the Spanish Securities and Exchange Commission. White & Case also targeted the city; it hired debt finance partner Jaime Rossi from Herbert Smith Freehills in September and launched its commercial litigation practice with the hire of Francisco Málaga from Linklaters in October.

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