Clayton Utz project finance team suffers

Australian firm Clayton Utz has suffered a further drain on its finance department with the departure of two partners.

Clayton Utz’s loss is Allen & Overy‘s (A&O) and Freehills’ gain. The firms have hired Grant Fuzi and Patrick St John respectively.
This current spate of high-profile defections follows the move of practice head Andrew Trahair to A&O’s Singapore office in February.
Fuzi, who previously worked for A&O in London, has joined the Hong Kong office. His appointment increases the tally of banking fee-earners to 24, including six partners.
A&O’s head of banking Joseph Tse said: “Grant’s expertise will enhance the already strong banking and projects capability we have in Hong Kong and Asia. His appointment is a demonstration of our commitment to Asia, and we’re looking forward to welcoming him as a member of the team.”
St John said that critical mass is essential to his practice area and that his role at Clayton Utz became increasingly difficult as more people left.
With considerable experience in representing lenders, St John’s arrival provides an important boost to Freehills’ predominantly borrower-focused projects practice. He said that it remains to be seen whether clients will follow him, but he is hopeful and has received a positive reaction to his decision to move.