Latham & Watkins has lost one of the stars of its high-yield practice to hedge fund Silverpoint Capital as the European market fails to sustain the volume to allow Latham's UK team to replicate the success of its colleagues in the US.
Partner Gay Bronson has joined Silverpoint as its first in-house counsel in London. Silverpoint is a US hedge fund specialising in rescue financing and is also a client of Latham.
The departure leaves Latham with four London partners working in the high-yield arena, including Rich Trobman and Bryant Edwards, who acted for the banks in the €Â‚Â¬12bn (£8.21bn) Wind high-yield bond.
The move is a further blow to Latham's European high-yield ambitions, which have been hindered by the sluggish European market. Large high-yield bond issues such as Wind were few and far between in 2005, and the increased demand for mezzanine and second-lien debt has not filled the void.
Latham finance partner and chair of the European High Yield Association Bryant Edwards said: "We're sorry to see Gay go but it's a great opportunity. 2005 was a great year for the firm in high-yield and all the forecasts are that 2006 will be even better."