Mayer Brown hire boosts Orrick bankruptcy focus

<a class=Mayer Brown hire boosts Orrick bankruptcy focus” />Orrick Herrington & ­Sutcliffe is making headway in strengthening its transatlantic bankruptcy team with the hire of former Mayer Brown restructuring head Raniero D’Aversa in New York.

The hire, first reported by last week (26 August), is a coup for Orrick and underscores its dedication to bulking up in bankruptcy and restructuring since the onset of the credit crunch last summer.

As the former co-chair of Mayer Brown’s financial restructuring and bankruptcy practice, D’Aversa brings with him significant experience, having advised on a number of key bankruptcies earlier this year, including that of
Sea Containers.

“We’ve had pockets of excellence in restructuring and bankruptcy,” says London-based Orrick partner Mark Fennessy. “We need to build up in New York and London and Raniero will really help us to do this.”

In London, restructuring has been high on the agenda for some time. Earlier this year (6 May), The Lawyer reported that Fennessy and his restructuring team had joined Orrick from Hunton & Williams. Expansion in Orrick’s European offices is next on the list.

“We have an excellent team in France and Italy and we want to capitalise on this,” says Fennessy. “Germany is another crucial area where
we really want to develop a core bankruptcy and restructuring strength. We’re on the right track but it will take time.”

Orrick has its sights set on creating a global bankruptcy and restructuring practice. Being able to advise on international workouts and bankruptcy cases would no doubt give it an edge in the post-credit crunch world.

“We want to be known for this kind of work,” asserts Fennessy. “To make this happen we have to recruit into our European and US offices, with London and New York being critical to the success of the practice.”

With complex financial instruments characterising the current wave of restructuring, Orrick’s focus on structured finance has been an added bonus for the firm.

“There’s no doubt that it’s beneficial for us to have this expertise,” argues Fennessy. “Adding more restructuring capabilities will complete
the picture.”