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Norton Rose is relocating a senior restructuring partner from Hong Kong to London in a bid to recapture leveraged loan business, as banks and insolvency practitioners ready themselves for a downturn in the economy.
Partner Jeremy Gibb will move back to London in October to join the firm's City restructuring practice, which includes partners Hamish Anderson, Richard Calnan and James Stonebridge.
Stephen Parish, global head of banking, said: "In anticipation of an upturn in restructuring work, Jeremy will be returning to London towards the end of this year to bolster our presence in this area."
Leading investment banks have made clear signals that they are preparing for a downturn. Former Kirkland & Ellis head of restructuring James Sprayregen surprised the market last month when he joined the Goldman Sachs, and last week the bank poached Lachlan Edwards, head of European restructuring at Rothschild.
Norton Rose has been unable to capture a big slice of the leveraged loan market since it lost a team of four acquisition partners, including Tim Polglase to Allen & Overy in 2002.
By strengthening its restructuring team, Parish hopes to be able to offer banking clients a "fresh pair of eyes" in the event of a restructuring.
The move comes at a time when many in the recovery industry are expanding their operations in the expectation of a downturn in the economy.