A&O takes Paul Hastings payments specialist as firm sets sights on fast-growing sector

Allen & Overy (A&O) has hired banking partner Ben Regnard-Weinrabe from Paul Hastings, as the firm looks to grow its capabilities in the fast-growing payments sector.

Regnard-Weinrabe has spent almost four years at Paul Hastings after joining the US firm’s London office in 2014 from Hogan Lovells, where he co-founded and co-led the firm’s payments innovation team.

He will be joined at A&O by one Paul Hastings associate at a later date.

A&O, which currently has six partners who cover a range of payments services, is expanding in the area in response to market demand.

A&O financial services regulatory partner Etay Katz told Legal Week: “The payments sector is going through a transformation that is being driven by advanced technology. In certain segments of the market there are disruptors and newcomers offering services that seek to augment and compete with traditional banking services. All of this market change gives rise to opportunities for us – we feel we’ve captured a fair share of those so far, but Ben joining us puts us in a different space.”

Regnard-Weinrabe’s practice includes advising on EU and UK law and regulation, products, commercial contracts and transactions, while he has a special focus on innovation in financial services, including mobile payments, e-money and virtual currencies.

His move to A&O marks the magic circle firm’s first London lateral hire so far this year, although the firm has made a number of additions its South African and German offices.

The firm returned to Baker McKenzie to take an 11-lawyer Johannesburg team, including four partners, after recruiting the firm’s office co-head last year, while it also recently recruited Frankfurt tax partner Michael Ehret from Linklaters, where he had been a partner since 2014.