Latham boosts bank-bond practice with Skadden trio

Latham & Watkins has hired a senior debt team from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in New York in a bid to offer a one-stop bank-bond practice.

As first reported on last week, Marc Hanrahan, Ronan Wicks and Marcus Dougherty are joining Latham’s New York office as partners.

The trio is known as one of the leading teams in the New York senior debt market, with clients such as Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns. The hires take Latham’s worldwide partner count in leveraged finance to 50.

Latham & Watkins head of high yield Kirk Davenport told The Lawyer: “The world is migrating to a one-stop shop world. In the US, intercreditor arrangements have been standardised.”

Latham is considered one of the top high-yield firms in New York, along with Cahill Gordon & Reindel and Cravath Swaine & Moore.

While at Skadden, Hanrahan’s team advised on a number of transactions in tandem with Latham’s high-yield team. These included acting for CSFB and Lehman Brothers on NRG Energy’s $1.4bn (£777m) exit financing, and Goldman Sachs on Calpine Corporation’s financing last year.

Although Wicks and Dougherty both happen to be dual qualified in New York and English law, this is not primarily a transatlantic play.

Although the firm declined to discuss specific clients, it is understood that Latham has been trying to build a one-stop bank-bond practice for several years at the behest of banks such as Goldman Sachs, which itself handles the senior debt and subordinated tranches of US financings.