Shearman & Sterling has hired Allen & Overy securitisation partner Julian Tucker, just two weeks after the news that its former securitisation head Marke Raines is leaving the US firm at the end of this month.

Tucker joins Shearman as head of its structured finance practice, taking the reins from Clifford Atkins.

Shearman & Sterling has been aiming to build up its structured finance and securitisation capability for some time, particularly in real estate. Although Raines joined from Allen & Overy in May 2000 the US firm has struggled to meld securitisation with its transactional practices in London.

The hire coincides with the consolidation of Shearman’s securitisation practice into a broader structured finance offering.

Tucker has a strong real estate financing background, having handled all the Canary Wharf transactions and a series of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) deals. His clients at Allen & Overy include Barclays Capital, ABN Amro and Morgan Stanley.

Shearman & Sterling’s London office turned over £55.4m in 2004, up from £53.4m the previous year.