Perkins Coie loses two project finance partners

The London office of US firm Perkins Coie has received a double blow with the loss of two of its four partners.

Banking, capital markets and international project finance specialist Peter O'Driscoll has defected to Coudert Brothers' London office, following project finance specialist Kent Rowey who left for Freshfields a week earlier, as reported in The Lawyer.

Perkins Coie managing partner Andrew Bore said the losses, particularly the departure of O'Driscoll, would leave a hole in the office's project finance work.

“Whether we continue with that area of work or not is open to question,” he said. “We may very well decide to concentrate on our core specialism which is mergers and acquisitions and equipment finance, particularly in aircraft.”

Perkins' London office, which opened in January 1994, now only has corporate finance and M&A specialist Bore and equipment and project finance specialist Jeffrey Wool. There are two associates.

In addition to taking on O'Driscoll, Couderts promoted one of its English associates, telecommunications and IT specialist Michael Rhodes, to partner. It has also scored a coup at its New York office by recruiting nine partners from Whitman, Breed, Abbott & Morgan.

But in London, Couderts has some way to go before it meets its target of 100 English lawyers within five years. There are currently nine partners, 12 associates and six trainees in the office.

Three English associates left the London office late last year and Couderts also lost six partners internationally to Morgan Lewis & Bockius earlier this year.