A&O suffers further loss as finance star joins Skadden

Skadden” />Allen & Overy (A&O) has suffered its seventh partner resignation this year as finance partner Clive Wells quits for Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (2 December), Wells handed in his notice on 1 December. He had been at the magic circle firm for three years, having joined A&O from Norton Rose alongside Andrew Bamber, Tim Polglase and Robin Harvey in 2002.

An A&O spokesperson said: “Clive Wells has decided to leave Allen & Overy to join Skadden Arps. Clive has made a great contribution during his time with A&O and we wish him all the best in his new role.”

Wells is the latest in a string of partners to leave A&O. In October, heavy-hitting leveraged finance partner Tony Keal quit the magic circle firm to join Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Corporate partner Thomas Werlen resigned in September to join Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis as general counsel.

In March, A&O lost four partners. Securitisation star Julian Tucker and collateralised debt obligation specialist Angus Duncan quit to join Shearman & Sterling and Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft respectively.

Brussels competition partner David Harrison resigned to join Berwin Leighton Paisner, while utilities specialist Stuart Harray returned to New Zealand.

Wells is the third high profile partner to join Skadden’s London office in recent weeks, following James Anderson from Clifford Chance and Adrian Knight from Shearman & Sterling.

Skadden London managing partner Bruce Buck told The Lawyer: “These three additions are part of our focused strategy. The M&A practice is booming and the leveraged finance practice is booming. We don’t see this work stopping in the short term – we want to build long-term relationships while business is good.”