A&O, Clifford Chance enjoy Big Apple coups

Clifford Chance enjoy Big Apple coups” />Allen & Overy (A&O) and Clifford Chance surprised everyone, not least themselves, by enjoying some good news from their Manhattan offices this month.

Clifford Chance netted three lateral partner hires in a week: John Graham, King & Spalding’s joint head of M&A, arrived, followed by asset finance lawyer Zarrar Sehgal from Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, and finally leveraged finance specialist Anthony Lopez was brought in from Cahill Gordon & Reindel.

While Graham and Lopez were undoubtedly coups for the magic circle firm, Sehgal’s hire highlighted an increasingly employed growth tactic by the firm in the US: nab up-and-coming associates (as Sehgal was) and make them a partner.

“We’re happy to create opportunities for the people we want,” the firm’s Americas managing partner Craig Medwick told The Lawyer (25 September).

Down a few blocks on Avenue of the Americas, A&O’s New York office was able to boast its biggest deal to date, scooping the instruction on General Electric’s (GE) sale of its silicone and quartz subsidiary to Apollo Management for $3.8bn (£2bn).

The deal not only strengthened ties between GE and its panel firm, but also meant the New York corporate team, led by Dan Cunningham, had to work closely with its counterparts in Japan and Germany.