Latham & Watkins has made an almost unheard of lateral hire from New York mergers and acquisitions (M&A) powerhouse Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.
Latham has recruited Barry Bryer, a partner in Wachtell’s corporate department since 1980, for its New York office.
Bryer was voted in to the Latham partnership some weeks ago but is expected to join the firm on 1 July. The hire takes the number of partners in Latham’s New York M&A practice to 12.
It is believed to be the first time that Wachtell, which last year posted average profit per partner of £1.58m and was the most profitable firm in The Lawyer Global 100, has lost a partner directly to a rival.
Charles Nathan, global co-chair of Latham’s M&A group, said “Barry is an outstanding senior M&A lawyer, who we think will make a strong and positive contribution to our practice in New York.
The hire comes as Latham continues to beef up its M&A offering in New York. “The centre of gravity for public M&A in the United States is in New York. We’ve been working on building New York in general, and in M&A in particular,” said Nathan.
The firm’s New York office now boasts more lawyers than any other office in its global network.
Wachtell did not return calls for comment.