Proskauer hires Addleshaws partner for City push

Proskauer Rose has hired Addleshaw Goddard finance partner Michael Crosby for its London office.

Crosby previously spent two years working in-house at Lehman Brothers alongside the bank’s investment banking division followed by a stint as an associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

In 2005, Crosby joined the London office of O’Melveny & Myers. He joined Addleshaws last year as a partner in its finance and projects group. He is particularly known for advising on deals featuring mezzanine and junior capital.

Proskauer’s Boston-based finance group co-chair, Steve Ellis said Crosby’s “broad-based” practice would provide the firm with a missing ingredient in its City finance practice.

“Mike is best known for junior capital deals and represents around 40 to 50 non-traditional lenders,” Ellis said. “Several of our US clients have gone to Europe in recent years and asked to meet our London finance people. Until now, we didn’t have anyone on the ground who approached the market in a similar way to us, that is in such a broad-based way.”

Proskauer is particularly known in the US for its junior capital and mezzanine finance practice, a group which has grown rapidly over the past few years. Ellis said that despite market conditions, the group had a better financial year in 2008 than in 2007.

“The group has been built with practitioners who can handle front-end deals as well as restructuring, so second lien to multi-tranche financings to mezzanine to restructurings,” added Ellis. “That means we can change the balance of the practice and still stay busy.”

Ellis admitted that the balance of Proskauer’s finance practice had “changed completely” during 2008.

“Last year we did around 75 second lien deals,” Ellis said. “This year we’ve done around five. Also in 2007 we had not one default. Now half of what is on my plate is defaults or restructurings.”

Proskauer’s financial year ends this Friday (31 October).