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Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft has scooped a nine-partner transatlantic team from rival McDermott Will & Emery, including one partner for the firm’s London office.
The new hires will see Cadwalader establish an office in Houston for the first time as well as launch a sector-based practice at the US firm.
The lawyers will be spread between Cadwalader’s offices in New York and Washington as well as its new outpost in Houston.
A significant number of assistants are also thought to be joining Cadwalader from McDermott.
Energy and commodities specialist Doron Ezickson is joining Cadwalader’s City office to launch the London end of the practice, which the US firm says will span all financial products within the wholesale, emissions and renewables markets.
“We’re delighted to have Doron join us and assist with the firm’s international expansion, not only in energy, but in our existing financial services, capital markets, international litigation and reorganisation practices,” said Angus Duncan, the managing partner of Cadwalader’s London office.
Cadwalader chairman Chris White added that the development of an energy and commodities practice was “a perfect fit” for the firm.
“Dramatic changes in the European and US regulatory environment in highly regulated industries such as financial services, energy and commodities are creating demand for sophisticated sector specific counsel,” White said.
Ezickson has extensive experience of the energy markets, including a wide range of European, US and Asia regulatory and compliance issues relating to the development and operation of wholesale energy, renewable energy and emissions markets, as well as related financial products.
In a statement McDermott said: “While we’re sorry to see these partners go, these moves do not change McDermott’s strong commitment to our many diverse clients operating within the global energy industry.
“To put things in perspective, the departing partners’ total collections in 2010 amounted to a small percentage of firm revenue. Whereas these departing partners focused mainly on commodities and derivatives trading for financial clients, McDermott’s global energy capabilities are far broader than that.
“McDermott continues to represent some of the biggest names in the energy industry across a broad range of corporate, transactional, regulatory, enforcement, litigation, tax and other matters.”