Mayer Brown in advanced talks with A&O leveraged finance team

Mayer Brown is in advanced talks with teams from several firms in London to significantly bulk up its capital markets and corporate practice groups in the City

The US firm, which was recently hit with the loss of former co-vice-chair Paul Maher, is understood to be in talks with groups of partners from up to four firms as it seeks to bolster its City presence.

It is thought that a group of around 10 capital markets partners from White & Case and a leveraged finance team from Allen & Overy (A&O) are in talks with the US firm.

Earlier this year (9 March) The Lawyer reported that A&O was looking at scaling back its leveraged finance team after the downturn had dramatically reduced its workflow in that area.

Mayer Brown London senior partner Sean Connolly said: “As part of our existing business strategy we’ll continue to seek to strengthen our London platform through key strategic lateral hires.

“It remains our intention to make a number of hires in the corporate and finance practice areas and we also firmly believe that the current legal market conditions give us a great opportunity to attract some outstanding new talent to the firm.”

The plan to bolster the London practice comes after a management shake-up that moved the power base of the firm away from London and back to its traditional Chicago roots.

Chicago partner Bert Krueger has taken over the role of firm chairman, while Maher’s counterpart as vice-chairman Ken Geller, who is based in Washington DC, has been handed the newly created role of managing partner.

A Mayer Brown London partner said: “We’re dedicated to London and in no way are retreating back to Chicago.

“The talks are at various stages, but we expect some decisions in the next few months.”