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Linklaters & Alliance's newly-appointed managing partner for the Americas Terence Kyle is pressing ahead with plans to grow the firm's US finance practice and to launch a US law capability in Frankfurt.
Kyle said the firm will make lateral hires. "My to do list includes establishing a US law presence in Frankfurt, significantly increasing the size of our US practice in New York and broadening out the areas it covers on the finance side," he stated. Linklaters currently has four partners based in New York, three of them members of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. It also has US lawyers in Hong Kong, Paris, Rome, São Paulo and Tokyo. Kyle said: "At the moment, we only have a very small banking practice in New York. We want to expand structured finance, high-yield debt, restructuring and insolvency, particularly in the New York office, but it will need to fit with the worldwide practice." Commenting on Linklat-ers' plans for Germany, Kyle continued: "Frankfurt is the second-largest IPO [initial public offering] market in Europe after London. We feel we should have a credible [US] presence in Frankfurt to work alongside the German and London partners. We can really only kick-start this by hiring laterally." Former Americas managing partner Caird Forbes-Cockell, who is based in New York, is maintaining his close involvement in Linklaters' strategy for the US. Senior partner Anthony Cann said: "Caird is involved in leading our strategic long-term thinking on the US. Terence Kyle is looking at the immediate development of the practice, for example the issue of where we want to increase numbers. His primary responsibility is not to see if there's a firm to merge with." Caird was heavily involved in sealing Linklaters' alliance with Brazilian boutique firm Goulart Penteado Iervolino e Lefosse Advogados (The Lawyer, 18 June).
"We should have a credible US presence in Frankfurt to work alongside the German and London partners" Terence Kyle, Linklaters & Alliance
"He wanted, and we wanted him, to have more time with clients," said Cann. "As managing partner for the Americas, Terence has responsibility for New York, Washington and São Paulo, and also for the development of the US practice around the world." Progress is also being made on the development of new structures to replace the old management structure of Linklaters & Alliance, known as the international policy committee (IPC). At next month's partnership retreat, the firm will discuss the idea of a governance board to include elected members. This will be in addition to an executive management team including global practice heads and regional managing partners. The IPC will continue to function into the new year when it is expected to be joined by a Belgian member.