Clifford Chance’s embattled New York office has haemorrhaged six partners, with its entire insolvency and restructuring group quitting en masse for Kaye Scholer.
High profile head of insolvency and restructuring Margot Schonholtz is leading the team, taking with her CC’s entire New York restructuring team, consisting of partners Mark Liscio, Jill Kurtzman, Madlyn Primoff and Scott Talmadge. It is expected that the 15 New-York based insolvency and restructuring associates will also join Kaye Scholer.
Schonholtz and Liscio were among the New York office’s biggest billers and, it is understood, were both being paid above CC’s 100-point top of lockstep.
The defections follow that of IP star Leora Ben-Ami who also joined Kaye Scholer, last year.
The mass departures come just weeks after Clifford Chance managing partner Peter Cornell unveiled his five-person US executive group, designed to examine the strategic direction of the fragile US operation. Cornell is leading the group alongside US head John Carroll. Global litigation head Peter Chaffetz and securities partner Craig Medwick are also on the US executive group. Schonholtz was not among the partners appointed.
The departures leave Clifford Chance’s global restructuring practice with 25 partners and around 60 associates.
At the same time, New York securities litigation partner Herb Washer has quit CC for Shearman & Sterling.
Already, CC is examining the prospect of relocating London or European restructuring experts to New York in a bid to redevelop the practice.
A CC source said: “This was not surprising at all. These departures have been a long time coming.”