BLP exits continue as finance partner heads to Mayer Brown

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) finance and restructuring partner Trevor Wood has become the latest partner to leave the firm after being hired by Mayer Brown.

Wood will join the firm’s banking and finance team alongside White & Case senior associate Mayank Gupta, who will also be made partner. The arrival of the pair means that Mayer Brown’s London office has made six lateral partner hires in the last month, compared to five across the whole year in 2012. 

Of those hires four come into the firm’s banking and finance department, with two additions from BLP and two from White & Case, the former firm of banking head Dominic Griffiths. Wood will be reunited with BLP banking and finance partner Richard Todd (7 October 2013) when he joins later this year while Gupta be reunited with White & Case’s former corporate finance partner Greg Stonefield.

Both Wood and Gupta have worked from offices in Hong Kong, with Wood admitted as a solicitor in both England and Wales and in Hong Kong. Griffiths said that the emerging markets were a key focus for the group, adding that the hires were made as a direct response to client demand.

In late 2011 Wood advised on a deal that the Financial Times described as a “watershed” for the recovery of RBS and one of the most complex loan sales in the history of the property sector (30 January 2012). 

While Mayer Brown has been on a hiring spree in London, BLP has faced a number of partner exits this year, notably the high-profile exit of global private equity head Raymond McKeeve from BLP to join Jones Day in August (20 August 2013). Widely regarded as a leading private equity rainmaker, McKeeve advised a number of private equity houses, sovereign wealth funds and their investee companies including Blackstone, Darwin and Intermediate Capital Group.

Last month, Mishcon de Reya raided the firm for head of the information law unit, Adam Rose (2 September 2013). Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) contentious tax head Liesl Fichardt also left after being hired by Clifford Chance (4 September 2013). 

BLP’s revenue fell by 5 per cent in 2012/13, from £246m to £233m.

Comings and goings at Mayer Brown

London leavers 2012: Inclues reinsurance litigator Ian McKenna to Locke Lord (29 October 2012), structured finance partner Stephen Day to Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft (24 August 2012), corporate partner William Charnley to King & Spalding (5 July 2012), leveraged finance partner Neil Caddy to Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy (August 2012) and finance partner Nicola Marley to Minter Ellison (2 May 2012).

The firm also launched a redundancy consultation among support staff (21 September 2012) after announcing plans to cut some 20 lawyers and staff from its London office in May (4 May 2012), a process that ultimately saw the departure of 16 people. 

London joiners 2012: The London office took on longstanding Ashurst partner Martin Wright to fill the new position of European real estate head in November (15 November 2012), months after picking up CMS Cameron McKenna real estate finance partner Chris Harvey (19 March 2012). The firm says it made five lateral partner hires in London during 2012.

London leavers 2013: US firm King & Spalding established a financial services regulatory practice in London with the addition of Mayer Brown partner Angela Hayes (3 September 2013). Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft hired finance and banking practice partners Bruce Bloomingdale and Jeremiah Wagner (18 September 2013). 

London joiners 2013: Partner hires in recent weeks include Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) banking and finance partner Richard Todd (7 October 2013), Allen & Overy (A&O) senior associate David O’Connor, White & Case’s international corporate finance partner Greg Stonefield and SJ Berwin real estate partner Patricia Jones. Two more partners are expected to join the firm’s finance department in the coming weeks.