Allen & Overy, Biglaw, Lateral Moves, Magic Circle, Partner Issues

Musical Chairs: From One Magic Circle Firm to Another

No, different Magic Circle.

The leading firms of the United Kingdom, the so-called Magic Circle firms, have made significant inroads into the U.S. legal market. Over the years, they’ve hired a number of high-profile lawyers away from domestic law firms. They might not have conquered New York to the same degree that they’ve dominated many other markets they’ve entered, but they’ve certainly built up significant outposts here in Gotham.

In today’s notable lateral news, though, we see partners disappearing from one Magic Circle firm and reappearing at… another Magic Circle firm. Who are the lawyers in question, and where are they going?

We started hearing rumblings about this last week, but now the news is official. Kent Rowey and Dolly Mirchandani, currently project finance partners at Freshfields, will be joining the energy and infrastructure team of Allen & Overy. They will remain based in New York.

Both Rowey and Mirchandani boast high-powered résumés and extensive experience in project finance. Rowey graduated from UCLA and NYU Law School, and Mirchandani graduated from Oxford and Harvard Law School. Rowey, who headed up the Americas Energy and Infrastructure practice while at Freshfields, became a partner of the firm in 1996. He has been involved in the closing of more than 75 infrastructure and natural resources transactions over the years. Mirchandani was described by Chambers and Partners as “an emerging talent in the world of project development and finance.” She also served as co-head of the Global Pro Bono practice while at Freshfields. (We’ve posted Rowey and Mirchandani’s Freshfields bios on the next page.)

We reached out to Allen & Overy for comment. The firm confirmed the news that Rowey and Mirchandani will be joining A&O, whose energy and infrastructure team will grow to more than 30 lawyers.

In addition, it might grow more before the year is over; Rowey and Mirchandani may be followed by other colleagues from Freshfields. Allen & Overy declined to comment on this subject, but we’ve heard reports that a number of other project finance lawyers will be moving from Freshfields to A&O.

Congratulations to Rowey and Mirchandani on their move, and congratulations to Allen & Overy on its new hires. This Magic Circle firm has pulled a nice pair of rabbits out of its hat.

(Flip ahead to the next page to check out Rowey and Mirchandani’s bios — which are impressive.)

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