Clifford Chance taps Thacher Proffitt for US banking hire

Clifford Chance has hired a securitisation partner from Thacher Proffitt & Wood to beef up its US financial products practice.

Robert Villani will join the firm’s New York office as partner in the financial products department advising banking and issuer clients on securitisation deals.

Clifford Chance managing partner of the Americas Craig Medwick said: “We are continuously looking for opportunities to improve our service to clients. Robert’s arrival adds even more depth and breadth to our US and global financial products practice.”

Before joining Thacher Proffitt in New York in 2004, Villani was a partner and vice president of structured credit products at Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.

Clifford Chance head of New York financial products group Steven Kolyer said: “Robert is very well recognised in the securitisation community. His experience compliments our structured products practice and will strengthen our position in the global markets.”

Both Clifford Chance and Thacher Proffitt faced problems in their structured finance practices amid the fallout of the sub-prime collapse with the former laying off a six-lawyer structured finance group in New York at the end of last year while in January the latter warned up to 50 associates that they faced redundancy.