Weil to beef up London high yield with Freshfields partner Strauss

Weil Gotshal & Manges has made another high-profile City hire with the recruitment of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer high-yield head Gil Strauss.

Strauss is set to join the US firm after two years as a partner at the magic circle firm, which he joined in 2010 from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (26 July 2010).

His start date is not clear, but Weil confirmed that Strauss will be tasked with expanding the firm’s European high-yield practice in response to the increased demand from sponsors and banks.

Strauss’s experience covers work for private equity sponsors and underwriters on high-yield deals.

He will work together with the US firm’s two current high-yield partners in the City, David Meredith and Robert Ferguson, as well as with another recent hire, banking partner Stephen Lucas, who joined the firm from Linklaters last year (31 May 2011).

It also follows the hire of Hogan Lovells finance partner Mark Donald into the Weil City team earlier this year (6 February 2012). In addition, the firm has expanded its finance capabilities in Paris.

Weil executive partner Barry Wolf said in a statement: “With a proven track record in helping build a team in the London market and strong client development skills, we’re confident that Gil is the right candidate to further develop our global high-yield offering.”

Michael Francies, London managing partner at the US firm, added: “Gil is viewed by sponsor and banking clients alike as one of the best high-yield lawyers in the market. His expertise complements perfectly our market-leading private equity and sponsor banking platforms in London and Europe.”

The exit leaves Freshfields with a London high-yield team including partners Simone Bono, Michael Steele, Geoff O’Dea and Sean Lacey.

The firm said in a statement: “We thank Gil for his contribution to the firm and wish him well.”