Clifford Chance adds two corporate partners to New York base including former Zurich GC

Clifford Chance (CC) has recruited two corporate partners in New York, including the former group general counsel of Zurich Insurance Group.

The new partners are Alice Kane, who joins from Duane Morris and worked as Zurich GC from 2005 to 2011, and Joseph Cosentino, who rejoins the firm from Greenberg Traurig.

CC Americas managing partner Evan Cohen said: “In a little more than a year, our Americas practice has added nine lateral partners who are helping us build additional capabilities in areas of strategic importance.”

Kane spent just over five years as a partner at Philadelphia firm Duane Morris. Before that, she worked at Dewey & LeBoeuf as a partner for one year. Previously, she also spent nearly 26 years working at New York Life Insurance Company where she eventually became GC and executive vice-president.

CC New York corporate partner Gary Boss said: “Alice brings a wide range of credentials that enhance our global insurance practice, including deep expertise in global and US regulatory and compliance matters. Alice’s in-house experience as a senior executive with leading insurers provides her with a very strong understanding of the needs of our clients.”

Meanwhile, Cosentino has returned to the magic circle firm having been a partner there for three and a half years up until June 2015. That year, he joined Greenberg’s New York office as a partner for two years.

CC Americas corporate head David Brinton said: “Joe’s arrival strengthens our core M&A practice and ability to penetrate the insurance and PE sectors. His impressive deal list and experience in advising top industry clients builds upon our firm’s strengths, both in the US market and around the world. It’s great to have him back.”

Other high profile hires for the firm in the US include Robert Rice, formerly chief counsel to the chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission in New York. Rice joined CC’s litigation and dispute resolution practice as a partner from Ropes & Gray last summer.

The magic circle has made a string of hires in the US this year. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer hired a trio of New York restructuring partners from Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer in April, including the newly merged US firm’s co-chair of bankruptcy and restructuring.

Meanwhile, Allen & Overy took a three-partner New York finance and securities team from Paul Hastings in February, while Linklaters boosted its Washington DC disputes practice in March with the hire of the US Department of Justice’s principal associate deputy attorney general Matt Axelrod.