Fried Frank rocked by exits

Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson has been hit by the departure of its highly-rated head of structured finance and securitisation.

Laurence Isaacson, who has been a partner at Fried Frank since 1997, is leaving for Ernst & Young-associated firm McKee Nelson, taking with him partner Andrew Kwok. He will join McKee Nelson on Wednesday (25 June) and is also expected to take a number of associates with him.

Isaacson’s move is a blow to Fried Frank after the firm lost high biller Stephen Fraidin to Kirkland & Ellis just weeks after merger talks with Ashurst Morris Crisp collapsed. Sources estimate that last year Isaacson was responsible for revenues of around $6m (£3.6m).

With clients spanning Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse First Boston, Isaacson has a strong reputation in collateralised debt obligation, which would have been a natural fit with partner Erica Handling’s practice at Ashursts. It is not clear if his departure is connected to the failed merger.

McKee Nelson securitisation and structured finance partner Reed Auerbach declined to comment on a rumoured $2m (£1.2m) compensation package that the firm will pay to Isaacson.