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LONDON-BASED international practice Linklaters & Paines has appointed its first solely US-qualified partner.
Stephen Thierbach, formerly a senior associate with New York practice Sullivan & Cromwell, starts work in Linklaters' London office this week.
The firm follows other UK-based international practices, such as Clifford Chance, in appointing US lawyers to handle financial work.
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Thierbach is the second in a team of lawyers being recruited by Linklaters to handle its securities work in the US. In November the firm - the sixth largest in the world - appointed Edward Fleischman to its New York office.
Linklaters, which last year advised on more than 950 securities issues in countries around the world, has made no secret of its intention to take on US staff.
However, head of the firm's international finance section Terence Kyle has said in the past that the practice will not compete with US firms across the board or in the domestic marketplace.
Kyle says Thierbach, who has worked in Sullivans' London office for the past three-and-a-half years, has an "excellent reputation in and extensive experience and know-ledge of US securities law and practice".
"He is already well known to many of us at Linklaters & Paines and we are delighted that he is joining us as a partner," says Kyle.
"His role will be to help develop our US securities law capability and thereby enhance our international practice in this area."
Kyle says Thierbach will not qualify in the UK, and it has not yet been decided how long he will remain in the London office.
"That has not yet been decided between us," says Kyle. "It will depend upon the success of the new project but, at the moment, it is an open matter."
Kyle says the firm has "internal projections" for the size of the team it is hoping to recruit but it is currently working toward appointing a "core" grouping.
"We will be looking to recruit a number of other US lawyers who will be partners as well as those who will come in as associates," says Kyle.
"We don't expect to have them here in two weeks or even two months, but we aim to have up to a dozen US lawyers in the firm by the end of this year.
"We have been talking to a number of people, but obviously those discussions are still on-going."