Simmons & Simmons boosted its Paris banking team this week by hiring Colin Millar, a partner from SJ Berwin.

Millar, who joined Simmons on May 2, specializes in leveraged finance and restructuring as well as real estate finance.

He was previously a partner at Simmons' Paris office for nine years prior to joining SJ Berwin as a partner in January 2005. At SJ Berwin, he helped develop its banking and finance practice. He began his career at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's London office in 1986.

Millar advises French and foreign banks as well as other financial institutions on acquisition finance, syndicated lending and structured finance.

"Colin is very highly regarded in the leveraged finance market in Paris and his outstanding client base makes him an ideal fit for our existing focus in Paris," said Jeremy Hoyland, managing partner-elect and international financial markets head. "He will play a key role in building our transactional banking practice in Paris and internationally, and we are pleased to welcome him back to the firm."

Millar will take the number of partners at Simmons' Paris office to 16. This is after dispute resolution partner Michele Anahory also joined the office last month from Landwell.

The hires come after several departures from the firm in recent months, such as a three-lawyer  team that was headed by partner Laure Joncour. The group of three left Simmons last month to join Norton Rose.

Meanwhile, Paris real estate partner Edouard Vitry also left Simmons in March to join K&L Gates. He brought Joanna Klat and associate Benjamin Chouai along with him.

More Euro Lawyer Personnel Moves

In other lawyer hiring news, Mayer Brown JSM last week promoted Ben Sandstad to partner and head of the firm's structured finance practice in Asia. He will be based in Hong Kong.

The new hire will run a pan-Asia practice covering structured finance, securitization and
derivative deals, as part of the firm's global structured finance practice. 

Previously a partner at a leading Australian firm and having also practiced law in Hong Kong and Tokyo, he has more than a decade of experience in debt finance offerings that involve a variety of Asia-Pacific jurisdictions, financing structures, underlying assets and recourse basis such as in defaulted and stressed scenarios and restructurings.

"It is a very exciting opportunity to expand the firm's structured finance practice in Asia," Ben Sandstad said." With a leading global team of specialist structured finance practitioners, we can provide a truly top-tier service for our clients in the Asia-Pacific."

"Ben's broad international experience, combined with deep industry knowledge is a great asset to the firm in Asia and further underscores Mayer Brown JSM's commitment to serve and grow our client base in the region. As the sophistication and size of the region's banking and finance sector grows, the firm is well poised to address demand." said Elaine Lo, senior partner and Asia chair. "We congratulate Ben on this important milestone in his legal career."


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