White & Case: We are larger than Allen and Goetz

White & Case has crowned the new heads of its London banking finance team in the wake of the recent resignations of stars Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz.

As first reported on TheLawyer.com (11 March 2008), the two partners exited the firm amid tension between the firm’s Manhattan management and its City lawyers, and are to join Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Christopher Kandel and Magdalene Bayim-Adomako are the new leaders of the team, with Antonia Rawlinson leading client development for the group.

Kandel said: “I have a very clear vision and one of the great things about Maurice and Mike is that they built something that can do without them. They built something larger and that is a real institution, and the loss of two specific banking partners just won’t make a difference in the long run. For us its business as usual.”

Kandel denied that a significant number of the London team banking finance team’s clients would follow Allen and Goetz to Freshfields.

“Did Allen & Overy lose all its banking clients when Tony Keal moved to Simpson Thacher? No, because he had built an institution,” said Kandel.

As part of their new roles, Kandel and Bayim-Adomako will sit on the London banking and capital markets practice’s newly-formed leadership committee, which a spokesman said was designed to formalize existing but informal management responsibilities.

The rest of the committee is drawn from the existing leaders of the five sub-groups in London, and comprises capital markets partner Francis Fitzherbert-Brockholes; financial restructuring and insolvency partner Dan Hamilton; high-yield partner Rob Mathews and structured finance partner David Barwise.

Kate Allchurch will continue in her current role as administrative partner for the banking and capital markets group as a whole, and will also sit on the leadership committee. She will also remain the group’s representative on the London executive committee.

White & Case’s 32 partner-finance practice is one of the largest finance teams in the City and is responsible for many of the firm’s key client relationships. The leadership committee will be responsible for the direction of the group and its day-to-day operations.