DLA Piper kicks off DCM practice with A&O hire

DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary has taken the first step in building up a debt capital markets (DCM) practice with the appointment of an Allen & Overy (A&O) senior associate as a partner in its London banking group.

Sharon Smith has focused on securitisation as well as vanilla debt transactions. Her appointment marks the firm’s first step towards developing a DCM capability.

Head of DLA Piper’s UK banking group Michael Burton told The Lawyer: “With our increasing international expansion, we are delighted to welcome Sharon to banking group to develop our DCM practice.”

Over the next few months, DLA Piper plans to recruit additional lawyers with DCM expertise to support Smith.

DLA Piper’s UK banking group has four main disciplines: leveraged finance, real estate finance, asset finance and receivables structured finance. The firm also has an equity markets practice which is situated in the corporate finance group.

At the moment, only the US operation has a significant debt capital markets business, which includes advising on convertible debt, high-yield, and Rule 144A offerings.

Banking is one of the core practice areas for DLA Piper. In Germany, it recently took a five-man banking team from EY Law Luther Menold for its Frankfurt office.