Jones Day sees two more London partners leave to join US rivals

Two more partners have left Jones Day’s London office, bringing the total number of partner exits from the City base to three in three weeks.

Both of the latest departures are joining rival US law firms in London, including corporate partner Dan Coppel, who is headed for Morrison & Foerster (MoFo).

He has spent almost six years at Jones Day after joining in 2012 from Dewey & LeBoeuf, shortly before that firm’s collapse. His practice focuses on M&A and private equity, predominantly in the energy and natural resources sectors.

MoFo Europe managing partner Paul Friedman said: “Dan is an accomplished lawyer and his arrival will further deepen the bench strength of our growing London corporate practice, following a robust 2017 with many market-leading deals. His more than 20 years of experience in cross-border corporate transactions, including practising in both Moscow and New York, will also enhance our leading global corporate offering.”

Meanwhile, financial institutions regulatory partner John Ahern has also left the firm, to join Katten Muchin Rosenman’s London outpost.

Ahern joined Jones Day in 2011 from Addleshaw Goddard. He focuses on the financial services industry in the UK, the Middle East and Asia, and also has in-house experience, having spent eight years in Merrill Lynch’s in-house legal team.

Last year, Katten London managing partner Peter Sugden told Legal Week that the firm was planning “significant” growth in the UK capital during the next three years, and this week the firm also recruited Lloyds Banking Group senior legal counsel Kumar Tewari as a London partner.

For Jones Day, the exits represent the second and third recent partner departures from its London base, after Vinson & Elkins sealed the hire of acquisition and leveraged finance partner Paul Simcock just over a fortnight ago.

Jones Day saw a number of London partner departures during the 2015-16 financial year, including several practice heads, with tensions around the firm’s lack of transparency over pay and a disconnection between the London office and the rest of the firm blamed by some for the spate of exits.

However, the firm has made several notable partner hires in continental Europe since then, including a five-strong Brussels team from White & Case in 2016, while last year the firm took on Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s entire Paris real estate team.