Ashurst targets BarCap as Handling becomes GC

Ashurst senior partner Charlie Geffen said his firm will be seeking Barclays Capital (BarCap) mandates following the departure of high-profile partner Erica Handling to the investment bank.

Charlie Geffen
Charlie Geffen

Last week Geffen confirmed that Handling, the head of Ashurst’s securities and structured finance (SSF) group, was leaving the firm to become general counsel (Europe, Middle East and Asia) at BarCap.

“We’ve handled bits and pieces for BarCap in the past, but we’re not on the general advisory panel and it’s certainly a bank we’d like to do more for,” confirmed Geffen. “Hopefully, this will be the start of a long and beautiful relationship.”

Handling, who has been at Ashurst since 2001, is one of the firm’s highest-profile partners. She hit the headlines at the start of the decade when she led a three-partner capital markets team from Weil Gotshal & Manges to what was then Ashurst Morris Crisp.

Handling was also closely associated with Ashurst’s decision to launch a ­structured finance-focused practice in the US.

Geffen admitted that Handling had been “very involved” with Ashurst’s launch in the US, but said her departure would have “no impact” on that business.

“There’s been an 18-month integration process leveraging off relationships throughout the firm,” added Geffen. “It’s producing a decent chunk of revenue.”

Handling’s clients include Cinven, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. She has also previously advised Barclays on structured finance deals.

It is understood that international finance ­partner Chris Georgiou will take over as head of the SSF group.