Ashurst in five-partner finance raid on A&O, Haarmann

Ashurst has dramatically bulked up its presence in the German and Italian markets with a mass raid on Allen & Overy (A&O) and Haarmann Hemmelrath – underlining its aggressive push on finance in Europe.

The silver circle firm has hired three restructuring partners from Haarmann: David von Saucken, Matt McDonald and Ingo Scholz. They are understood to be bringing six associates with them.

Von Saucken and McDonald are to join Ashurst’s London office, while Scholz will transfer to the firm’s Frankfurt operation. The team has advised clients such as JPMorgan, CSFB, Goldman Sachs and Lone Star.

Ashurst senior partner Geoffrey Green told The Lawyer: “The restructuring group was a great one-off opportunity and this kind of thing doesn’t come along very often. It fits very well with our London-Frankfurt axis.”

In a separate move, Ashurst has also bagged A&O Milan partner Franco Vigliano for its Italian business.

Vigliano, a well-known name in the Italian projects market, has been instrumental in running the key Messina Straits bridge project for the magic circle firm. His colleague John France also joins Ashurst as a finance partner.

This will take the number of partners in Ashurst’s Milan office to nine, and represent the firm’s first major projects laterals in Italy.

Green said: “Projects and energy is a practice we’ve earmarked for expansion internationally. We just opened in Dubai and we want to take the plunge into Europe on that.”