Linklaters snares second Freshfields banking star

Linklaters has scooped a second banking star from archrival Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer with the capture of partner Brian Gray.

Gray’s move comes just four months after former Freshfields restructuring and real estate finance partner, David Ereira, left for Linklaters in February.

Gray, who has been a partner in the Freshfields banking team since 2002, handed his notice in today (21 June) and will join the 27 partners in Linklaters’ banking group after the summer. In contrast, Freshfields has 12 partners left in its banking department.

Head of Freshfields banking practice, David Winfield, who replaced Edward Evans, last month (9 May), told The Lawyer that the firm has become more focussed on leveraged finance and private equity work.

Freshfields boasts a number of private equity houses among its clients, including Cinven, Warburg Pincus, Compass and Perimira. The firms heavy focus on corporate coupled with the 100 partner cull during the last 18 months, has meant the banking team has suffered.

Last month (8 May), The Lawyer reported that Freshfields banking partner of six years, Rex Rosales left the firm to join Reed Smith Richards Butler’s asset finance and securitisation team.

Since Rosales’ departure, the firm has made up Martin Hutchings and James Grand to the partnership in the banking team.

Linklaters and Freshfields declined to comment.