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Former Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw (MBR&M) securitisation star Mark Nicolaides has resurfaced at Latham & Watkins to spearhead the firm's drive into the European asset-backed securities market.
Nicolaides' practice covers a range of products, including commercial paper, auto receivables and arbitrage and collateralised debt obligations. His expertise will be a boost to Latham's London office, which has so far failed to make much of an impact in this area in the European market.
Christopher Hall, vice-chair of Latham's global finance department, told The Lawyer: "In London we have a foothold in leveraged finance, project finance and debt restructuring. Mark's practice is the fourth leg of the table and the maturity of the other finance divisions means it's an ideal time to bring him in."
Nicolaides will now drive forward the firm's European asset-backed securities practice and help to develop its Europe-based structured finance practice. There will be a particular focus on Germany, where the firm currently has no structured finance lawyers, but where Nicolaides worked for 10 years with MBR&M.
However, his first priority when joining the firm on 1 August will be to build up a team around him.
Nicolaides shocked the London securitisation market in May when he quit MBR&M after 20 years without signing up with another firm.
Nicolaides explained: "At Mayer Brown we got a good start, but we were feeling the limitations of what we'd accomplished. Latham has great brand recognition among clients and has a great platform in Europe and the US."
The addition of Nicolaides gives Latham a 10 partner-strong London finance practice.