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Allen & Overy's (A&O) New York office is hiring two insolvency partners from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, providing the firm with a restructuring capability in New York for the first time.
David Frauman and Ken Coleman resigned from Cadwalader at the beginning of last week and are expected to start at A&O today (30 April).
Frauman has a strong bondholder practice and Coleman has a niche practice advising on cross-border insurance insolvency.
A&O head of insolvency Gordon Stewart says: "The move gives us a unique position and headline names in New York, London and Hong Kong."
But Caldwalader's London managing partner Andrew Wilkinson says that A&O is copying Caldwalader's strategy.
"They've been looking at our business plan, which includes having insolvency partners in London and New York. They've seen how successful it's been, and now they've decided to do the same thing," says Wilkinson.
The move brings A&O in line with rival Clifford Chance, which has had a restructuring capability in New York, London and Hong Kong since it merged with Rogers & Wells on 1 January 1999.
A&O has around 50 lawyers in New York but it has signed up for new space to house 150 (The Lawyer, 22 January). In April it spearheaded its expansion with the recruitment of leading M&A and derivatives partner Daniel Cunningham from Cravath Swaine & Moore.
The move leaves Cadwalader with 10 insolvency partners in New York.