A five-partner restructuring and banking and finance team has left Australian firm Henry Davis York (HDY), which is in the process of merging with Norton Rose Fulbright.

The team will join Australian independent firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s Sydney office. The five partners are Patrick O’Grady, Cameron Cheetham, Craig Ensor, Ben Emblin and Michael Catchpoole.

O’Grady was a senior partner in HDY’s banking and finance practice and has 20 years of experience. He will return to Corrs following a seven-year stint in HDY. Previously, he was Corrs’ national practice group leader for banking and finance.

Cheetham joined HDY in 2014 as a partner from Kirkland & Ellis’ New York office where he practised as an of counsel for three years. He acts for strategic investors and creditors, public, portfolio and private debtor companies and equity sponsors in distressed lending and restructuring transactions and related contentious disputes.

Emblin spent 15 years of his career at HDY and has advised on a wide range of corporate financing transactions.

Ensor and Catchpoole were made up in 2011 and 2017 respectively. Ensor is experienced in banking, restructuring, insolvency and commercial litigation, while Catchpoole also focuses on contentious restructuring and re-organisation matters and corporate litigation.

“With the arrival of the new safe harbour legislation, we are expecting to see an increasing demand for broad based multifunctional restructuring skills, and we will be extremely well-equipped to provide this,” said Corrs CEO John Denton.

The five partners will join the growing restructuring and insolvency practice at Corrs, which already consists of six partners. Melbourne-based Jade Rowarth is the latest addition, who joined the firm from Maddocks in April 2017.

With 468 lawyers, including 110 partners, Corrs is Australia’s fifth largest independent firm, The Lawyer Asia Pacific 100 2017 data shows.

There has also been some notable partner exits from Norton Rose Fulbright since the announcement of its merger with HDY in June. Most recently, four Perth-based partners left to launch Pinsent Masons’ third Australian office in Perth.

In London, Norton Rose Fulbright has also recently lost international disputes partner Deborah Ruff, shortly after the completion of its merger with Chadbourne & Parke in July. Ruff will join US firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman to launch a London dispute practice and lead the firm’s global arbitration practice.