Keystone Law has announced 15 senior appointments to the corporate, commercial, immigration, intellectual property, litigation, private client, property and regulatory teams. The firm’s alternative business model which allows partners to step away from business management and focus purely on law has been garnering the attention of lawyers throughout the UK in recent years.
2019 has seen a significant increase in enquiries and applications from a number of lawyers practising at US law firms, talented senior associates who do not wish to enter partnership, and lawyers who collaborate closely with colleagues and are keen to continue working as a team.
The new arrivals include:
Former partner Alexander and Claire have joined from US firm Brown Rudnick and together have over 40 years’ experience advising on all contentious and non-contentious matters involving the protection and exploitation of intellectual property and technology in the UK, US and beyond. The duo are trusted advisers to companies from a range of market sectors including the digital technologies, software, life science, insurance, manufacturing, FinTech, creative and fashion industries. Alexander also regularly advises entrepreneurs, celebrities and politicians.
Barry, Alex and Luke join from Moore Blatch and Irwin Mitchell, previously known as Berkeley Law. The trio previously formed the core of the latter’s leading private client team and have reunited at Keystone. Collectively they have almost 50 years’ experience in advising high-net-worth individuals and their families on how best to organise their affairs for future generations. This often involves advice on tax planning, wills, probate and all aspects of UK trusts, including their planning, creation, administration and winding up.
Alan Gar (former Partner at McDermott Will & Emery)
Restructuring and Insolvency
Alan advises debtors, creditors, restructuring professionals and intermediaries as well as shareholders, buyers and other stakeholders in the restructuring process. He has acted on a number of market-leading matters (in particular, cross-border mandates), providing advice on English insolvency law, schemes of arrangement, and standstill agreements, as well as the acquisition and enforcement of debt and reorganisations. Alan has particular expertise in advising debtors, creditors and advisory clients on restructuring mandates in Africa in the energy, mining and commodities industries. He also has special expertise in solvent restructuring and capital returns, particularly in relation to fund dissolution and redemption.
Mark Parkhouse (former Partner at Reed Smith)
Restructuring and Insolvency
Licensed insolvency practitioner Mark is an experienced litigator and restructuring solicitor. His main clients are banks, corporates and accountant insolvency practitioners, but he also advises directors subject to investigations and prosecutions. Mark specialises in domestic turnaround and cross-border recovery matters such as civil enforcement, fraud, misfeasance and asset tracing claims. He also advises purchasers or prospective purchasers of assets from insolvent estates, mostly telecommunications companies. Mark has assisted with major Serious Fraud Office and offshore fraud matters. He joins from Gunnercooke where he was a partner.
Mark Beer OBE (former Partner at Clyde & Co)
Mark is a renowned lawyer with impressive cross-border experience. He has been a judge; worked in-house; worked in private practice; built hedge funds; advised governments; and run private- and public-sector organisations. Much of his career has been spent finding solutions, negotiating deals and developing commercial trust and confidence. Having lived for a number of years in the Middle East, and having worked across South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Mark is well connected with solid policy and multi-industry international experience dealing with stakeholders from the government, judiciary, regulators, legal and business communities, public and media across a number of geographies. Immediately prior to joining Keystone, Mark was Registrar General for the Dispute Resolution Authority.
Richard Temple (former Partner at Fieldfisher)
Richard is an energy, infrastructure and natural resources specialist and is particularly well known for his leading experience in oil and gas projects, especially in Africa. He has advised on numerous major infrastructure projects in the UK and worldwide in the power, renewable, water, waste and transport sectors. Richard also has extensive international experience of transactions particularly in Africa, Canada and Central and Eastern Europe. Most recently, Richard held a role in-house with Hummingbird Resources.
Geoffrey Davies (former Consultant at Lewis Silkin)
Geoffrey has been a corporate lawyer for over 40 years and has, during that time, provided corporate finance and M&A advice to a wide variety of clients, from multinationals to entrepreneur-owned private companies, across a variety of sectors. His recent work has included advice on bank and other fundings, share buy-backs and commercial contracting. In addition to his main practice, Geoffrey has been deeply involved in acting for charities which operate academies, establishing the first multi-academy trusts. Geoffrey was a Consultant at Stone King directly before arriving at Keystone.
Kash Balogun (former Consultant at Clifford Chance)
Kash’s practice has a particular focus on the construction, oil & gas, and finance sectors. He specialises in complex, high-value disputes, usually with an international element, and has successfully advised clients in all forms of dispute resolution. In addition to advising clients in the UK, Kash has acquired extensive experience in dealing with disputes relating to or originating from sub-Saharan Africa. In the construction sector, he has significant experience in negotiating amendments to standard-form construction contracts including ancillary construction documents such as collateral warranties, parent company guarantees, and other related agreements. Kash joins from BDB Pitmans where was Head of the Africa Team.
Nick Watson (former Solicitor at Berwin Leighton Paisner and GC at Control Risks)
Nick acts as in-house counsel to companies that are not yet ready to make an internal legal appointment. He also works with existing in-house teams to help them make decisions. Nick advises clients on contracts, policy, compliance and disputes. He also helps clients to safeguard their interests in relation to a variety of business-critical concerns such as information security, data protection and insurance. Largely due to his most recent role as Senior Counsel at Control Risks, Nick’s skillset is particularly interesting as he advises on areas that go beyond standard legal practice, including risk management and strategy, brand and reputation, crisis management, conflicts of interest and ethical issues. Nick has helped to respond to and resolve a range of business and legal issues across geographies as diverse as the US, Colombia, the EU, Russia, Iraq, Iran and across Africa.
Rhodri Thomas (former Senior Associate at Baker & McKenzie)
Rhodri advises on all employment law matters, corporate transactions and restructurings, and is experienced in employee benefits work. He acts for individuals and employers on all aspects of employment law, including appointments and dismissals, employee restructurings and workforce reductions, Employment Tribunal and High Court litigation, TUPE transfers and M&A transactions, executive remuneration, discrimination and whistleblowing matters. Rhodri’s practice spans multiple sectors, and he has particular experience in healthcare and pharmaceuticals, natural resources, TMT, marine, financial and professional services, and retail work.
Nick Owens (former Senior Associate at Pennington Manches)
Nick has a wealth of experience in acting on commercial, residential and agricultural real estate matters for companies individuals investors, developers, landlords, and occupiers. Over the past 20 years, Nick has handled a wide range of matters involving residential, agricultural and commercial property acquisitions and disposals, including high-value complex transactions, residential and mixed-use development sites, construction matters, associated financing and all property aspects of corporate transactions.
Nicola Richards (former Senior Associate at Doyle Clayton)
Nicola specialises in assisting businesses within the technology and inward investments sectors on a range of immigration rules. She acts for a variety of companies, from large international corporates to smaller start-ups. Nicola advises on all aspects of UK immigration including Tier 2 Sponsor Licence applications, EEA applications, Tier 1 Exceptional Talent and Sole Representative visas. She is also experienced in Settlement and Citizenship applications, and has successfully challenged the Immigration Rules when needed. Nicola also advises clients on the future of their European workforce in relation to Brexit.
“Over the course of 2018 we saw more than 250 applications from lawyers seeking a route out of traditional practice to join us and we have continued to see a high volume of enquiries this year,” said James Knight CEO and founder of Keystone Law.
“The Keystone model is not just about making our lawyers happier; it is about making our clients happier. Each of our senior practitioners is totally free to dedicate themselves to servicing the needs of their clients, rather than wasting time on the mechanics of the business.”