US firm poaches six more from City

Wilde Sapte and Clifford Chance are to lose six more lawyers to Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, as the US firm's aggressive recruitment drive continues.

Last week four assistants from Wilde Sapte: Vincent Keaveny, Timothy Hailes, James Warbey and Matthew Cain; and two from Clifford Chance: Philip Hertz and Lyndon Norley, said they would be joining the firm in August.

Cadwalader announced it was setting up a London derivatives office in June this year and immediately poached four leading City lawyers: James Starkey from Freshfields, Russell Jacobs and John Walker from Wilde Sapte, and Andrew Wilkinson from Clifford Chance. At the time, the firm, which is believed to be offering a very attractive pay package, said it wanted to recruit at least 25 UK-qualified lawyers.

Keaveny said the Wilde Sapte assistants had worked with Jacobs and Walker as a close-knit team and had decided to follow them. “We have been very successful at building up the structured finance and capital markets team at Wilde Sapte but there are certain constraints about how we can grow with the firm here which we will not have at Cadwaladers.”

Wilde Sapte managing partner Steven Blakeley said: “It is disappointing when people choose to leave us. We have had our best ever year and yet we are still being outbid by US firms.”

He added: “Our structured finance and capital markets practice is successful and we will continue to expand.”