Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's Washington DC office has been dealt a substantial blow following the announcement that Mark Spivak will no longer be joining the firm.
Spivak, who is co-head of project development and finance at Vinson & Elkins, has turned his back on an agreement to join Freshfields, preferring to remain with his existing firm. The decision was announced via an internal email to lawyers at Vinson & Elkins on 9 August. Freshfields managing partner Ian Terry said that Spivak has decided to stay with his old firm for personal reasons. "We're disappointed, but we already have a thriving practice and there are plenty of project finance lawyers in the team," he said. Spivak, whose focus is on energy, infrastructure and privitisation deals, advises sponsors and developers on both US and Latin American projects. Freshfields' focus is on the agency side and his appointment would have broadened the practice. Terry did not rule out recruiting another project finance partner but he said that it would happen only if the calibre of the lawyer was right. Freshfields' US focus is on project finance, structured finance, securities and tax. It has recently expanded its New York office with the recruitment of structured finance partner Tim Little, who joined from Shearman & Sterling. He will focus on structured real estate finance, including synthetic and leveraged leasing and real estate securitisation. It is understood within the market that the firm would like to expand its US M&A capability.