Cadwalader relocates NY partner for UK CDO push

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft is gearing up to attack the UK’s lucrative collateralised debt obligation (CDO) market by relocating a highly-rated New York capital markets partner to its London office.

Neil Weidner is expecting to move to the firm’s London office by the second quarter of this year, although he will continue to split his time between the UK and the US.

Meanwhile, Cadwalader’s well-respected capital markets partner James Croke will move back to New York. It is understood that the firm’s London lawyers perceive his relocation back to the US as a great loss, although like Weidner, Croke will also divide his practice between the two jurisdictions.

Croke has worked at the firm’s London office since 1999 and is widely viewed to have been instrumental in making a success of the group, despite the practice sustaining a number of departures four years ago.

These included John Walker, who left for Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, and James Starkey, who went to an in-house position. However, the firm has also recruited a number of lawyers into the group.

While having expertise in a number of areas of structured finance, Weidner has specialist knowledge of CDOs, an area that has long been dominated in London by the likes of Ashurst, Weil Gotshal & Manges and White & Case. However, Cadwalader has carved out a niche in this area and has acted on more than 100 CDOs in recent years.