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White & Case rejig sees capital markets halved" />
White & Case has overhauled its London banking and finance practice groups in a controversial restructuring that has seen the capital markets team slashed.
The shake-up has seen the high-yield and structured finance teams split from cap-ital markets to join the bank finance group. This has halved the size of the capital markets team, leaving it with just four partners and 14 supporting fee-earners and no access to the departing lawyers.
A heated debate is now raging within certain sections of the partnership about the impact that the significantly reduced level of resources within capital markets will have on the firm's practice.
However, capital markets partner Tim Jeveons claims it will have little effect, as the structured finance and high-yield teams operated as independent sub-groups within capital markets.
White & Case's London office has undergone a series of changes in recent months, including an overhaul of the office's management in June. This resulted in former chief operating partner Neil Upton stepping down and head of corporate Peter Finlay being promoted to the newly-created position of senior partner.
As part of the restructuring, the original asset finance team that defected to White & Case from Weil Gotshal & Manges in the late 1990s has also been reformed. Partner Rachel Hatfield rejoins her former colleagues, including partners Maurice Allen and Kate Allchurch, in the banking and structured finance team.
Allen, who will lead the newly expanded banking and structured finance group, said the structure had been piloted using key financial institutional clients, including Deutsche Bank, over the last 18 months.
It aims to match the firm's structure with those of its financial institutional clients to provide a more integrated service. White & Case claims that this is the first time a law firm has combined high-yield and structured finance into banking and finance.
Besides Hatfield, three partners have moved across: Gavin McLean, Heather Pilley and David Barwise. The additions bolster the combined bank finance, high-yield and structured finance team to 14 partners and 71 supporting fee-earners.