Greenberg Traurig Maher raids Kirkland for two more restructuring partners

Greenberg Traurig Maher (GTM) has continued its hiring spree with the capture of two more restructuring partners from the London office of Kirkland & Ellis.

Paul Atherton and Jason Salman resigned this week and are being joined at GTM by former Kirkland associate Helena Potts.

Atherton and Salman will be joining their former Kirkland colleague Lyndon Norley, who arrived at GTM last November (30 November 2009). The double hire signals a major push into the restructuring and insolvency field.

GTM chairman Paul Maher confirmed that this would be a priority for the firm. He said: “Lyndon’s building his team and this is a very good move. We intend to build a very big restructuring team in London.”

“We are excited to welcome Paul, Jason and Helena to our global team,” said Bruce Zirinsky, co-chair of Greenberg Traurig’s business reorganisation and bankruptcy practice. “Their presence in London strengthens our transatlantic restructuring capabilities and I look forward to working with them.”

Norley had been head of Kirkland’s European restructuring practice and was replaced in that role by London partners Kon Asimacopoulos and Partha Kar.

A former Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft partner, Norley was reunited with fellow Cadwalader alumnus Zirinsky at GTM.

Kirkland London head James Learner said of the latest restructuring departures: “I don’t think it will have a huge affect. We’re sorry to see them go, they’re good guys, but
it’s not going to really affect our ability to maintain or get clients.”

Following the departures there are now three partners, one senior associate and four associates left in the restructuring team.

Learner ruled out bringing anyone in to replace Atherton and Salman, adding: “We’re happy with what we have.”

GTM has been on a high-profile recruitment drive since opening in London last summer, with recent hires including DLA Piper energy partner Neil Upton (2 February 2010), SJ Berwin corporate partner Laura O’Neill (10 December 2010), and Eversheds real estate partner Tim Webb (2 November 2009).