Firm Promotes Eight to Partnership in 2014

01 May 2014

International law firm Simmons & Simmons has today announced that it has promoted eight of its lawyers to its partnership this year*.

Commenting on the promotions, Simmons & Simmons’ Senior Partner Colin Passmore, said: ‘‘Recognising and promoting the talent that exists within our firm is key to us achieving our ambitious growth plans. Ours is a high performance culture, and these eight outstanding individuals amply demonstrated their ambition, talent, and commitment to our clients and the firm.’’

The new partners are:

Ali Crosthwaite - London/Real Estate

Ali specialises in commercial real estate with a particular focus on prime City of London and West End investment grade property. She acts primarily for institutional investors and private equity funds in relation to the structured acquisition and disposal of investment assets, joint venture arrangements, securitisations as well as the more general aspects of landlord and tenant law. She also specialises in advising TMT clients in respect of their real estate requirements.

Christophe Fichet - Paris/Corporate & Commercial

Christophe has strong experience in competition and sector-specific regulations as applied to telecommunications, media, IT/internet, data protection, and life sciences in France, Europe and in Africa. Christophe has also been particularly involved in several telecommunications and IT reforms in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He holds two post graduate degrees in Business Law (DJCE – DESS Juriste d’Affaires) and in Business and Competition law (DEA de droit des affaires) from University of Rennes I.

Craig Bisson - London/Financial Services

Craig focuses on the contracts underpinning asset management services, with a particular emphasis on derivatives trading and investments. He advises major financial institutions (including insurers and pension scheme trustees), banks, funds (both UCITS, hedge and sovereign wealth); combining in-depth market and regulatory knowledge. Craig is an expert on EMIR and in negotiating client clearing contracts.

Devarshi Saksena - London/Financial Services

Devarshi is an investment funds specialist, focusing on structuring hedge funds and other investment fund products and managed accounts. He advises some of the largest and best known asset managers across Europe, Asia and the United States, and has considerable experience of working with European start up asset managers. Devarshi is a regular speaker at asset management industry events, particularly in relation to the implementation of AIFMD.

Laura Orlando - Milan/Dispute Resolution

Laura specialises in contentious and non-contentious intellectual property, with a focus on patent and regulatory law in the life sciences sector. She has acted in some of the highest profile multi-jurisdictional patent cases in the life sciences and also other sectors, notably TMT, and assisted global pharmaceutical companies in connection with patent expiry of top selling drugs. Laura is Executive Secretary of the Life Sciences Working Group of the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy and founder of IPyard, the Italian Intellectual Property Working Group. She holds a Ph.D. in contentious law from Bologna University.

Richard Kramer - Tokyo/Corporate & Commercial

Richard specialises in the development and financing of major infrastructure projects, particularly those in the transport, power and energy sectors. He acts for the full range of project participants, including procuring authorities, project sponsors, lenders, sub-contractors and offtakers. Richard has worked on infrastructure and energy transactions in the United Kingdom, the Middle East, South East Asia and the Americas and has almost four years’ experience living and working in Abu Dhabi, UAE advising project companies, contractors and financial institutions in relation to a wide range of transactions. As a former director at a major investment bank, Richard also has significant experience in structured and bank finance, derivatives, funds and other structured products.

Simon Whiteside - London/Financial Services

Simon is an investment funds specialist, advising start-up and established fund managers on the structuring and formation of their management entities and their range of investment products, in particular offshore alternative investment funds, single investor funds and managed accounts. Simon also advises on related regulatory matters such as AIFMD. Simon acts for clients such as AKO, BlueBay, Brevan Howard, Egerton and WHARD Stewart.

Thomas Scharfenberg - Frankfurt/Financial Markets

Thomas specialises in structured products and debt capital markets law. He has extensive experience, inter alia, in providing advice on structured notes, warrants and certificates, as well as on debt issuance programmes, stand alone bonds and assignable loan agreements (Schuldscheindarlehen). He started his career as a legal adviser for Dresdner Bank in Frankfurt and he subsequently joined another leading international law firm where he worked in the capital markets team for several years. During that time he also completed a secondment with a leading Swiss bank in London.

*Subject to standard regulatory approvals.


Notes to editors:

  1. We are a leading international law firm with fully integrated teams working through offices in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and bring experienced professionals to some of the most active growth markets today. Our focus on a small number of sectors means we are able to understand and respond to our clients’ needs. Our industry sectors are: Asset Management & Investment Funds, Energy & Infrastructure, Financial Institutions, Life Sciences and Telecoms, Media & Technology (TMT). We have a track record for innovation and delivering value to clients through new ways of working.

  2. Simmons & Simmons is an international legal practice carried on by Simmons & Simmons LLP and its affiliated practices. Accordingly, references to Simmons & Simmons mean Simmons & Simmons LLP and the other partnerships and other entities or practices authorised to use the name “Simmons & Simmons” or one or more of those practices as the context requires. The word “partner” refers to a member of Simmons & Simmons LLP or an employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications or to an individual with equivalent status in one of Simmons & Simmons LLP’s affiliated practices. For further information on the international entities and practices, refer to

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  4. For further information, please contact Heather McMaster, Senior Communications & PR Executive on +44 20 7825 3962 or +44 7595 122 633 or at