Locke Lord continues its commitment to growing the Firm’s London office and team with the additions of two new Partners: Sean Donovan-Smith, an experienced funds formation and regulatory advisory lawyer, has joined as a Partner in the Investment Adviser & Alternative Funds Practice Group, and Ben Henry, a well-known data centre lawyer, has joined as a Partner in the Real Estate and Finance Practice Group.
Prior to joining Locke Lord, Donovan-Smith was a partner and the head of the London investment management and funds group at K&L Gates. Henry was a partner in the real estate practice at Bird & Bird in London.
“We are expanding the Firm’s London office with strong performers in principal practice groups to meet the changing needs of our global clients, and the additions of Sean and Ben mark yet another important milestone for us,” said Firm Chair Jerry Clements. “They are both highly regarded and talented lawyers in their respective practice areas and will greatly enhance our capabilities in London and across the Firm. Sean will supplement our strong investment adviser and private equity teams with his complex private fund formation and regulatory matters skill set, and Ben will provide vast experience and knowledge in a fast-growing sector of the real estate industry.”
Donovan-Smith and Henry’s arrival follows other recent notable additions to the Firm’s London office, including Sean Page, a Partner in the Corporate Practice Group, Kevin Atkins, a Partner in the Energy Practice Group and Nigel Montgomery, a Consultant in the Insurance and Reinsurance Practice Group.
Donovan-Smith has almost 20 years of experience in the financial services industry and will add private fund, including private equity, and investment adviser capabilities, a key focus for the Firm. He has acted for a range of clients, including funds, managers, advisers and institutional investors. Donovan-Smith focuses his practice in financial services and markets regulatory advice, regulatory enforcement and investigations, advising on regulated and unregulated funds and the international marketing of funds, and other financial products.
He has a broad range of experience dealing with complex financial services matters, including regulatory interventions/transactions, derivative and futures products, regulatory compliance, risk management, FSMA/FCA requirements and cross-border regulatory issues. He is rated in the Legal 500 for Investment Funds.
“I am eager to join Locke Lord, where I know my extensive capabilities, particularly in the asset management and regulatory areas, will be well-matched,” Donovan-Smith said. “Locke Lord’s global presence and dedicated team of private equity lawyers with a diverse mix of respected clients offer an exciting opportunity and advantages for me to grow my practice with other dealmakers.”
Henry has represented a variety of organisations on numerous commercial real estate transactions and will add depth to the Firm’s Real Estate and Finance team in London. He has focused on the data centre industry since 2008, working closely with clients and advisors to develop contractual documentation for both operators and customers. He also has experience in corporate real estate and landlord and tenant representation.
“Locke Lord has a growing international platform, a widely recognized reputation for culture and collegiality as well as a strong team of knowledgeable and experienced Real Estate and Finance lawyers across the globe,” Henry said. “I am excited to join the Firm’s London office and to leverage these impressive assets to service and expand my practice.”
For developers, Henry has advised on site acquisition, the development and pre-letting of the site and ultimately the sale to an investor. Additionally, he has acted for investment purchasers of data centres, which has included the financing aspects relating to the acquisition. He also has significant experience in a wide range of commercial real estate transactions, particularly in the areas of investment, corporate and landlord and tenant matters. He is recognized in the Legal 500 for Real Estate/Commercial Property experience.