B&M in shock four-partner raid on Norton Rose

Norton Rose‘s securitisation group has resigned for Baker & McKenzie (B&M), leaving the top 10 firm with no capital markets capability at partner level in London.

As first revealed on www. thelawyer.com on Friday, the four-partner team comprises Jonathan Walsh, Vincent Keaveny, Bruce Somer and Ian Porter. It is understood their billings accounted for some £5m a year.

The group’s securitisation client base includes most of Norton Rose’s institutional clients, such as Deutsche Bank. It has agreed to serve out a full 12-month notice period as the firm embarks on a search for replacements, possibly by internal promotion or lateral hires at senior associate level.

This contrasts with Norton Rose’s experience three years ago, when client pressure saw it cut short the notice period of its four-partner acquisition finance team, which had resigned for Allen & Overy.

This is the latest in a series of partner resignations to plague Norton Rose’s capital markets practice: earlier this year, Christian Parker left for Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft and Liz Jones for Standard & Poor’s.

Norton Rose banking partner Stephen Parish said: “This is a setback – it’s always disappointing when friends and colleagues leave. They’ve done a great job in building the business and will leave us in 12 months’ time in a stronger position than when we were starting out on this five or six years ago. We’ll continue to service clients and we have 12 months to regroup.”

The four-partner move represents B&M’s first ever mass lateral hire.

B&M managing partner Gary Senior told The Lawyer: “We’re very excited about this. It fits with our global strategy of strengthening in key money market centres.”