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The firm says the appointment comes in response to increasing demand from international issuers and underwriters for it to handle the US law element of their cross-border transactions.
Clifford Chance aims to rival US firms advising on New York listings. Nine-year New York-qualified Ely said: "I was attracted to Clifford Chance because it has gone further than any other firm in developing a truly international practice."
London-based US securities partner John Connolly said: "If we continue to attract first-class US lawyers such as Rick, I'm sure we'll achieve our goal".