Cravath launches restructuring group with rare lateral

Elite US firm Cravath Swaine & Moore has pounced on Manhattan rival Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom to launch its restructuring practice.

Cravath, which rarely makes lateral partner hires, has taken on Richard Levin as its new restructuring head.

Levin said: “Although it was a difficult decision to leave Skadden Arps – a great law firm where I have many friends – I’m both excited and honoured to have the opportunity to create a top-tier restructuring department at one of the premier law firms in the world.”

His hire comes at a time when US firms are looking to bulk up their restructuring hires in anticipation of an M&A downturn. Skadden itself plans to take on 24 lawyers to boost its restructuring numbers to 120.

Levin’s glittering CV includes authorship of the 1978 US Bankruptcy Code and a stint as a consultant to the World Bank.