Bakers raid heralds McDermott finance drive

McDermott Will & Emery is planning to break into structured finance after hiring securitisation partner Paul-Michael Rebus from Baker & McKenzie.

The firm has not tradit- ionally worked in this area, but now wants to change the market perception of it being weak in structured finance and capital markets.

“People haven’t seen us as a structured finance firm and they haven’t seen us as a capital markets firm, but times are changing,” said David Dalgarno, head of McDermott’s London office.

As first reported on www.thelawyer.com (2 August), the firm has poached securitisation partner Rebus to increase its share of capital markets work in Europe.

Dalgarno told The Lawyer: “The firm’s been building a structured finance practice in the US and the clients we’re working for are looking for a capability in Europe as well.”

Three years ago the New York office hired Thomas McGavin from Clifford Chance to develop a US structured finance group, which now numbers 25 lawyers.

In London Rebus will work alongside structured finance partner Nick Terras, who joined from SJ Berwin in March, counsel Kevin McGuire and a team of associates. Rebus’s experience includes auto, trade and loan receivables, commercial and residential mortgages and credit default swaps.

“We’re not trying to compete with Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance, but you can offer a level of service and innovation that will bring in clients,” said Dalgarno.