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Sidley Austin Brown & Wood has made its first major hires since its formation and taken on a corporate team in New York.
The firm, formed out of the merger of Chicago's Sidley & Austin and New York's Brown & Wood in May, has raided Philadelphia firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius for four partners. Christopher Hilbert, John Bonacum, Rory Kelleher and Andrew Nelson will add corporate weight to the firm's New York office, which was one of the main objectives of the merger. One of the group's main clients is Canadian aerospace giant Bombardier, which it has advised on transactions and financings. Vice-chairman of the management committee Thomas Smith said: "[The hires] fit very nicely with us from a strategic standpoint, because we've been looking to build our capabilities in serving corporate clients here in New York. "Brown & Wood was largely capital markets, so this really fits nicely with what we're trying to add here in New York and to Sidley Austin Brown & Wood generally." The team covers M&A work and private equity; Kelleher practises lease financing and Bonacum handles secured lending, both of which were on Sidley's shopping list. Smith said: "This is an acquisition that I don't think either side could have made on its own. I think it's a combination of the global reach and our combined strengths in capital markets and corporate markets." Bombardier has just acquired DaimlerChrysler's Adtranz, thus increasing its operations in Europe, which is something that Sidley is hoping to be able to accommodate. The firm is currently in preliminary merger talks with German firm Von Boetticher Hasse Lohmann. New partner Nelson said: "We're very excited about the move and it creates a fabulous platform for us. "Bombardier is a global multinational company, and we view it as a positive move for them - the clients that we represent see it as a great thing."