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Squire Patton Boggs Hires in London From KPMG, Simpson Thacher

Feb. 6, 2020, 6:38 PM

Squire Patton Boggs has expanded its global corporate practice and international private equity team with the hire of three new London-based partners, including a top attorney at Big Four accountancy KPMG, Stephen Ball.

Ball joins Simpson Thacher & Bartlett associates Charles Leeming and Ben Squires who will also be part of the group.

During his 25 year career, Ball has advised some of the world’s leading banks, private equity funds, hedge funds and governments on strategy, corporate governance, financial services and risks, the firm said. He also has served as CEO, vice chairman and member of the boards of directors of global financial institutions, multinational companies and professional services firms.

Ball previously practiced at the London-based Slaughter and May and at Linklaters. In 2011 he joined KPMG as a global lead client partner.

KPMG, like other members of the Big Four, has built out a legal services function in jurisdictions outside the U.S. that allow accountancies to practice law. The Big Four and Big Law have at times hired attorneys from each others’ ranks.

“Stephen’s broad experience in global business also means there is considerable synergy with our existing client base, which will create exciting opportunities going forward,” Jonathan Jones, Squire Patton Boggs’ European managing partner, said in a statement.

The addition of the Squire Patton Boggs trio is a part of the firm’s longer-term strategy to invest and grow in London as well as other locations, he added.

“I was really impressed by the strategic vision of the management team and my new corporate and private equity colleagues,” Ball said in a statement. He said he is looking forward to helping to build the team.

Leeming began his career at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer roughly a decade ago before joining Simpson Thacher in 2013, where he did a wide range of corporate work, focusing on private equity sponsors and companies in M&A transactions.

Squires, who also has advised private equity firms on M&A transactions, joined Simpson Thacher in 2015 from the law firm Macfarlanes where he spent more than five years as a solicitor.

“Our PE work is growing year on year and this expansion of our capabilities in our London office will provide our clients with additional expertise, know-how and market insight,” Paul Mann, leader of the firm’s UK private equity team, said in a statement.

Ball, Leeming and Squires’ arrival at the firm follows recent additions of former Ashurst managing partner James Collis, Herbert Smith Freehills partner Ian Yeo, and Clyde & Co. energy partner Peter Stewart in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Harris at aharris@bloomberglaw.com; Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com

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