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Winston & Strawn has made a dramatic entry into the second-largest banking centre in the US, Charlotte, with a raid on rival Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman for at least six partners.
The new team, which may eventually increase to eight partners and 10 associates, is known for its longstanding relationships with a number of national and international financial institutions, notably Wachovia and Bank of America.
The move is aimed at strengthening Winston’s syndicated lending and securitisation practices. With the addition of the new team this group now includes more than 80 lawyers in the US.
Tom Fitzgerald, Winston’s managing partner, said the group represented, “a terrific extension of an already strong practice”.
Fitzgerald added that although certain parts of the US syndicated lending market had been affected by last year’s credit crunch, this did not detract from Winston’s willingness to bring on board significant resources in that area.
“Our goal is long-term relationships with significant clients and that is not something that is affected by short-term market turbulence,” said Fitzgerald.
Winston’s tenth office will be headed by one of the new partners, Dean Warren. The other five corporate finance partners are David Batty, Kent Walker, James Hedrick, Eric Burk, and Rene LeBlanc-Allman.