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Seven new hires announced by rapidly expanding Keystone Law

Keystone has made seven new appointments, hailing from leading firms including Ince & Co, Browne Jacobson, Kemp Little, and Fasken Martineau.

Hugh O’Donovan is recognised as one of the most experienced and respected aviation lawyers in the UK and joins Keystone from Ince & Co where he was head of commercial aviation. A barrister specialising in aviation regulatory, commercial and competition law, Hugh’s impressive career spans more than thirty years and has seen him advise a range of airlines, airports, regulators, governments, investors, financiers and travel companies.

Eleanor Richardson was previously a property partner at Lester Aldridge LLP. Although much of her recent work has focused on site acquisition for residential developers, Eleanor is able to advise on all aspects of real estate including acting for both landlords and tenants. She joins a team of more than 25 partner-level solicitors, working for prestigious clients such as Thyssenkrupp, HMV, Neal’s Yard, and Dow Jones.

Specialising in energy and commodities work, Philip Kornbluth’s practice focuses on international trade and its finance with a particular emphasis on crude oil and oil products, as well as metals and soft commodities. Philip has over 25 years’ experience advising on commercial contracts, pre-export finance, syndicated loans and joint ventures, representing oil companies, commodities trading houses, banks and entrepreneurs. He joins the firm from Fasken Martineau where he was a partner for seven years.

Keystone’s private client team has been boosted with the arrival of tax, trust and estates planning expert Sarah Noake. Sarah’s practice has a distinct focus on advising non-UK-domiciled clients, in particular US citizens with links to the UK. She can provide advice in relation to residence status, asset protection strategies and drafting wills. Prior to joining Keystone Sarah advised a range of firms as a consultant including Mundays and North Star Law.

Keystone’s flourishing Litigation team has also gained a new member in the form of the highly experienced insurance expert Steven Conway from Browne Jacobson. Steven has particular expertise in defending local authorities, public authorities and insurers against the whole range of civil claims brought against them. He provides comprehensive advice on employers’ and public liability claims, including claims against highway authorities and claims for stress at work, bullying and harassment. Steven is currently working with the Department for Transport on their review of ‘Well-maintained Highways’, the Code of Practice for highway maintenance management.

Completing Keystone’s run of new appointments is a double hire for the firm’s IP team. Sarah Needham has a particular specialism in the technology, media and data protection spaces. Prior to joining Keystone, she spent time at City firms Macfarlanes and Taylor Wessing, as well as in-house at a large media group. Sarah’s offering covers commercial services contracts, all types of technology agreements, brand licensing, print and publishing contracts, joint venture agreements, outsourcing agreements, and media and advertising contracts.

Meanwhile, Suzy Schmitz brings over a decade of experience in providing advice on IP-related issues, IT and general commercial disputes, breaches of confidence/misuse of data claims, and brand protection actions. She joins from Kemp Little and acts for clients ranging from entrepreneurial individuals and tech start-ups to SMEs and multinationals across a wide range of sectors.

Keystone’s Managing Partner James Knight commented:

“The expertise and experience of our newest arrivals is very exciting. Their dynamic offering is a strong reflection of our ongoing pursuit for expansion and our desire to be a real destination firm for talented senior solicitors who can bring unrivalled knowledge that is valued so much by our clients.”

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