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Latham & Watkins has lost renowned M&A partner David Schwartzbaum to Greenberg Traurig in New York.
David Schwartzbaum was formerly head of Latham’s national office for M&A and also led the firm’s financial advisory practice.
His exit will be seen as a coup for Greenberg, a firm that has recently embarked on a particularly aggressive lateral hiring campaign on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Schwartzbaum’s a huge producer of work,” said one New York recruitment consultant. “He was an instrumental figure in Latham’s corporate practice.”
Schwartzbaum’s recent deals include advising CV Therapeutics in its $1.4bn (£870m) acquisition by Gilead; Axcan Pharma in its $1.3bn acquisition by an affiliate of Texas Pacific Group; and JPMorgan Partners in its $2.1bn going-private acquisition of AMC Entertainment.
His investment banking clients Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.
Greenberg has made no secret of its ambition to grow its corporate practice. According to the recruiter: “It has the money to invest in it, is seeing other firms suffering and believes now is a good time to make a play”.
The firm’s recent hires include former Kirkland & Ellis restructuring specialist Lyndon Norley (30 November 2009), former Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft partners Bruce Zirinsky and John Bae (9 January 2009) and former Mayer Brown co-vice-chair Paul Maher.
A Latham spokesperson said the firm wished Schwartzbaum well.