US firm Cravath sends global M&A head to London

New York firm Cravath Swaine & Moore is sending its global M&A head Richard Hall to London as it expands its corporate practice across Europe.

Hall will relocate in February 2013, bringing the partner headcount in its City office to five. The move is not expected to indicate any change in strategy for Cravath’s London office, with the firm not thought to be considering an English law launch.

Lawyers in the firm’s London base practise US law exclusively, representing non-US corporate clients in a variety of capital markets transactions, SEC compliance matters, mergers and acquisitions and restructurings.

Cravath’s London office is currently headed by corporate partner David Mercado, although a source said that as Hall will be the most senior lawyer in the office when he joins it is likely that he will take over the mantle as London head.

A standout transactional name, Hall’s clients include Time Warner and Royal Dutch Shell. He recently represented The Linde Group in connection with its $4.6bn acquisition of Lincare Holdings and acted on behalf of Time Warner in its $9.25bn separation from Time Warner Cable (TWC) in 2008.

It is not yet clear if Hall’s relocation is a sign that the firm will move more high-profile partners from Cravath’s New York office to London.

The firm declined requests for comment.