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Dechert is making a bid to move its securitisation practice up a gear with the hire of a specialist.
John Gordon - previously at Nomura's Principal Finance Group (PFG) - joined Dechert's securitisation unit last week as a partner, after leaving Nomura in January. He brings extensive experience in securitisation and structured finance and was a senior lawyer at Clifford Chance before joining Nomura. It is the latest in a series of departures from the bank's team. Nomura's joint head of securitisation Robert Palache, who was previously head of finance at Clifford Chance, quit his post at the bank in April this year (The Lawyer, 16 April). He subsequently moved to Barclays Capital with Richard Stowe. Palache's co-head Henry Cooke has also departed, but it remains uncertain where he will move to. At Dechert, Gordon will be jointly responsible for driving the securitisation practice forward with existing lead securitisation partner Richard Ambery, whose career also briefly overlapped with Gordon's at Clifford Chance. Nomura's PFG is currently facing an uncertain future following managing director Guy Hands' decision to establish his own fund, and is fighting to keep client accounts. Gordon fulfilled a business role at Nomura rather than an in-house legal function, and was effectively a client to a range of investment bankers who were arranging financing for Nomura's transactions. His arrival at Dechert marks a transformation of its London-based securitisation practice from the one-man band set up by Ambery when he joined in 1999. Clients now include the Industrial Bank of Japan and Mortgages Plc. Ambery said the hire was not aimed at winning instructions from Nomura. "There's no existing relationship with Nomura," he pointed out. "This wasn't a move to get Nomura's work; it was really to add another 15 years of experience in the market to our team. John's been at this game for a very long time."