Baker McKenzie bolsters tax practice with hire of Stephanie Pantelidaki

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has hired Stephanie Pantelidaki as Head of Financial Services Transfer Pricing in the firm’s tax practice. Stephanie joins from PwC, where she has worked in both the firm’s United Kingdom and Switzerland offices.

Stephanie has over twenty years’ experience advising on transfer pricing and international corporate tax issues with a particular focus on financial services – having worked with leading institutions in banking and capital markets, investment management, and the insurance sectors.

She started her career in academia as an economic adviser and research fellow at London Business School, and went on to work for organisations including Andersen, KPMG and Baker McKenzie (2006-2009) where she helped establish the Transfer Pricing team in the London office.

Mark Delaney, head of Baker McKenzie’s tax practice in London, said: “Stephanie is a truly exciting hire for Baker McKenzie. We’re seeing increased demands from financial institutions for transfer pricing works and her skills and expertise will enable us to deliver an even better service for our clients.”

Alex Chadwick, Baker McKenzie’s London Managing Partner, said: “We’re welcoming Stephanie back to Baker McKenzie at a great time, with opportunities in abundance for continued growth across the tax practice. Her experience, crossing academia and finance, mean she will bring a lateral-minded point of view to the team. She’s going to be a fantastic asset to us.”

Stephanie’s hire follows a number of recent significant lateral appointments including Leveraged Finance partner Ben Wilkinson, who joined Baker McKenzie from White & Case, M&A partner Nick Rainsford, who joined from Ashurst, private equity partner Justin Hutchinson, who joined from Kirkland & Ellis, Adam Eastell a partner from Slaughter & May and Nick Bryans, also from Ashurst.

Hogan Lovells strengthens finance capabilities with leading Brussels hires

International law firm Hogan Lovells is pleased to announce that Ivan Peeters and Philip Van Steenwinkel are joining the firm in Brussels with a focus on expanding the firm’s finance, capital markets and financial regulatory offering. They join with three associates.

“The addition of Ivan and Philip to our finance and capital markets team is an important step in our effort to strengthen our finance offering in Brussels particularly in the context of Brexit.” said David Gibbons, Global Head of the Corporate and Finance Practice at Hogan Lovells. “Their experience will enhance our ability to support clients on cross-border finance deals throughout the CE region.”

Ivan is a leading practitioner with international recognition in Europe, with a broad practice in advising on financial transactions, structured financing, capital markets and securities regulations, restructurings, and financial sector regulations. He combines long and deep experience of financial institutions and markets with regular contributions to the development of Belgian legislation, including in relation to covered bonds, securitisation, collateral arrangements and securities. His time as inhouse counsel at KBC and as a partner with reputed firms like Freshfields, Stibbe and PwC Legal provide him with a special background to help assist clients handle the major current market developments.

Philip Van Steenwinkel is a leading practitioner in banking and financial law, capital market transactions, structured finance and derivatives as well as other financial products. He acts for a wide range of leading financial institutions and corporates in Belgium and across the globe.

Commenting, the duo said: “We have worked with members of the Hogan Lovells network in the past and were always impressed by the firm’s high quality client service and the strength of its global platform. We see strong synergies with the Hogan Lovells offering. We are very excited to join and work with the team to continue to grow the firm’s finance capabilities cross- border and in the Belgian market generally.”

Baker McKenzie Enhances Leveraged Finance Team With Significant Hire

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has hired Ben Wilkinson from White & Case where he was a partner in the Debt Finance practice. Ben will join the Banking & Finance practice in London on May 3rd, to help build out the Leveraged Finance team.

With over 16 years in the legal industry, Ben’s experience includes advising investment banks and private credit funds in relation to cross-border acquisition finance transactions, in particular those with complex capital structures. He regularly advises lenders, borrowers and financial advisors in connection with the bank financing of acquisitions of public companies, and also acts for a variety of lender syndicates, steering committees, sponsors and companies in relation to various restructuring matters.

Ben is an important strategic hire with a focus and strong experience in cross-border leveraged / acquisition financing transactions, particularly on the lender-side, which will significantly expand our capabilities in the leveraged finance space.

Matthew Dening, Global Chair of Baker McKenzie’s Banking & Finance practice group, commented: “Ben has an outstanding reputation in the acquisition finance and bank lending market. Expectations are that 2021 is going to be very busy as financial performance re-stabilises with pent-up refinancing and liquidity that has yet to be deployed, creating key opportunities. Ben’s appointment will put Baker McKenzie in a solid position to take advantage of these openings.”

London Managing Partner Alex Chadwick added: “We are very excited about Ben joining our Banking & Finance group in London. His practice is firmly aligned with our strong industry focus and his hiring represents our ambitions to become one of the leading transactional Firms globally. Ben has a long track record of doing deals in the financial sector which supports our ambitions to strengthen our relationships with sponsors. We will continue to grow our transactional partnership in London and other key markets, both laterally and organically.”

Ben Wilkinson’s hire comes after a number of recent lateral appointments including M&A partner Nick Rainsford who joined from Ashurst, private equity partner Justin Hutchinson who joined from Kirkland & Ellis, Adam Eastell a partner from Slaughter & May and Nick Bryans, also from Ashurst.

Baker McKenzie is a transactional powerhouse with over 2500 deal lawyers and expertise in over 46 countries. We excel in cross-border deals – over 60% of our deals are multi-jurisdictional. We are global and local, combining money market sophistication with local excellence.

Pinsent Masons hires corporate partner Chris Green in Johannesburg

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has boosted its corporate capabilities by recruiting Johannesburg-based partner Chris Green.

Chris advises domestic and multinational clients in various sectors, including infrastructure and energy, on matters in Sub-Saharan Africa with a particular focus on domestic and cross-border M&A transactions.

Head of Pinsent Masons Johannesburg, Apicksha Patel, said “Chris brings invaluable transactional experience across Sub-Saharan Africa and his skillset is well aligned to our sector focus. Chris’ appointment compliments our commitment to growing our transactional practice in South Africa, providing invaluable support to investors, funders and developers alike across the continent.”

Chris has advised a number of high-profile clients during his career including AB InBev, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, CDC Group Plc, BASF Group, Rand Merchant Investment Holdings and Brambles Limited. Recently, Chris has advised BASF Group in relation to various corporate and competition aspects of the separation and sale of its Construction Chemicals business to Lone Star Funds. Chris has also recently advised Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in relation to its acquisition of a majority interest in Kenyan Coca-Cola bottler, Almasi Beverages Limited.

Commenting on this move Chris said, “I’m extremely pleased to join the team at Pinsent Masons and look forward to working alongside a global team advising on high profile matters including significant global energy and infrastructure projects.”

Chris joins from African firm Bowmans, where he had been a partner since 2014.

New partner hire for Dubai corporate team

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has strengthened its corporate offering in the Middle East with the hire of new partner Kayaan Unwalla.

Kayaan joins from DWF, where he was partner and head of corporate (Middle East). He advises clients on matters including cross-border transactional M&A, joint ventures, government contracts, commercial agreements and regulatory advice within the technology, defence, security, and industrial sectors.

Kayaan will join existing corporate partner Adjou Ait Ben Idir, who heads up Norton Rose Fulbright’s corporate/ M&A practice in Dubai, and is recognised for her experience in advising on complex local and international mergers and acquisitions, privatisations, private placement and joint ventures in various sectors including energy, financial institutions (in particular insurance) and real estate. She also heads up the firm’s Cyber Response Team in the Middle East and has a wealth of experience in cybersecurity related crisis management and corporate governance matters.

Deirdre Walker, head of Middle East at Norton Rose Fulbright, comments: “We welcome Kayaan to the team. Recent changes to legislation and regulation across the UAE – including the overhaul of the foreign direct investment regime in the country – make going into business in the UAE much easier for international investors who were previously excluded from the region. This shift is likely to increase confidence in the business environment and we may consequently see an uptick in corporate and M&A activity in the region. As such, Kayaan, Adjou and their teams of associates are well-placed to advise clients that are looking to capitalise on new opportunities that have arisen.”

Pinsent Masons hires real estate regulatory and investment partner

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has hired real estate funds regulatory and investment specialist Dorothee Atwell into its Frankfurt office.

Dorothee is a funds regulatory lawyer advising on regulatory aspects of transactions and fund formation to institutional investment managers investing into real estate in Germany and abroad.

Dorothee joins from investment company Universal-Investment where she developed innovative structures for complex real estate transactions working closely with asset managers and custodians. Dorothee is also admitted to the bar in the UK and United States.

Dr. Wolfram Pätzold, Head of Real Estate Germany at Pinsent Masons said, “Dorothee is a recognised expert in real estate investment and regulatory law and will be a valuable addition to the development of the firm’s real estate offering in Germany.”

Rainer Kreifels, Head of Germany and member of the global board at Pinsent Masons said, “Dorothee’s appointment follows our continued commitment to expand the firm’s Frankfurt office which opened in 2019. This is particularly true of our real estate and financial services teams following the appointment of Antony Morton in May. Dorothee’s expertise spans across both real estate and financial services sectors and is a natural fit for the firm.”

The growth of Pinsent Masons in Germany underlines the success of its sector focus approach. Last year, its German real estate practice doubled in size. With the addition of Dr. Tobias Nuß and Katharina von Hermanni joining the partnership in 2019 and additional associates joining the team, the German real estate practice now comprises 13 lawyers in Munich, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf. The German Financial Services Team now comprises 8 lawyers in Munich and Frankfurt.

Pinsent Masons is one of the top 50 law firms in Germany. With three locations in Germany (Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich) the firm focusses on the technology, life sciences, energy, real estate and financial services sectors.