Ashurst raids Fried Frank for NY partner

Ashurst has bolstered its US offering by scooping a New York lending partner from former merger suitor Fried Frank.

Damian Ridealgh is the firm’s second lateral ­partner hire in the US since it launched in New York and Washington DC in 2009.

Ridealgh, who was a loan markets associate at Ashurst in London 10 years ago before moving to the US, will strengthen the team advising on finance deals for investment banks and other financial institutions.

Ashurst US head Bill Gray said: “Damian’s lending expertise makes him an invaluable addition to the team and will strengthen our offering in the loan markets.”

Merger talks between Ashurst and Fried Frank were called off in 2003.

Ashurst launched in New York and DC two years ago, when 11 partners arrived from McKee Nelson.

It hired financial services partner Margaret Sheehan from Alston & Bird last year.

Ridealgh’s move is the ­latest step in the US office’s diversification away from structured finance – the focus when it launched.

Infrastructure partner Jason Radford is set to move to the New York office later this year as part of a US project finance launch.

Senior partner Charlie Geffen said: “We’re excited about this latest step and are particularly pleased to be growing in the firm’s finance team in the US.”