Hotel operator Accor has appointed Thomas Dubaere as managing director for UK and Ireland. Dubaere has worked for Accor for over 22 years, most recently as managing director, budget brands Accor UK & Ireland. Dubaere began his career with Accor in Belgium in 1990 at the Novotel Bruges Centre, and held several general manager positions before being appointed delegate director economy brands Belgium in 2004, and then director of operations economy brands Belgium and Luxembourg in 2005.

St James’s Place
Baroness Wheatcroft, the former editor of the Wall Street Journal and the Sunday Telegraph, has been appointed as an independent non-executive director of the wealth management group, effective from 2 April. Roger Walsom, a non-executive director since 2005, will not be seeking re-election at the AGM in May and will leave the board on 8 May.

Squire Sanders
The law firm has launched a maritime practice team in London, led by three new partners: Graham Harris and Dharmendra Nair, who join from Thomas Cooper, and Linos Choo, who joins from DLA Piper. Additionally, Anne Pickering and Ann Mazzucco join as associates, also from Thomas Cooper.

Barclays Wealth
The wealth manager has appointed Julian Wantling as managing director, head of global FX. Wantling joins from UBS, where he has worked for 25 years, working primarily in FX distribution for UBS’ investment bank and wealth management divisions.

Akin Gump
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has announced it will open a new office in Hong Kong, to be led by Gregory D Puff, who joins from Shearman & Sterling. Puff, who will also run the law firm’s Asia practice, will be joined in the Hong Kong office by Andrew Abernethy, who moves from Norton Rose.

The wealth manager has hired Oliver Stainer to join its investment management team. Stainer joins Quilter from Towry, where he was a specialist within the investment management team; prior to that, he worked at Edward Jones, where he was an equities specialist and head of equity marketing UK.

Novo Altum
Simon Cordier has joined Novo Altum as a director. He joins from Ernst & Young, where he was a director in the financial management team in Scotland.

Field Fisher Waterhouse
The law firm has hired Tim Bird, formerly head of the corporate practice at Wedlake Bell, where he focused on equity capital markets, as corporate partner.