Weil hires finance partner Gogna from Latham in wake of Lucas exit

Weil Gotshal & Manges has hired Latham & Watkins finance partner Reena Gogna, just weeks after the departure of its banking chief Stephen Lucas.

Reena Gogna
Reena Gogna

Gogna’s practice is focused on advising lenders and sponsors on acquisition finance deals, and she has particular expertise in bank/bond structures. Recent clients have also included Hayfin Capital Management, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

She began her legal career at Slaughter and May in 1999, before joining Latham & Watkins in 2003 where she spent a year on secondment at GE Capital.

Gogna’s hire comes just ten days after the shock exit of Weil’s London banking head Lucas, who quit the firm for rival Kirkland & Ellis (20 May 2014). Renowned as one of the UK’s top finance lawyers, Lucas spent only three years at the firm where he worked for clients including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.

Weil finance partner Mark Donald, who joined the firm from Hogan Lovells in early 2012, stepped into Lucas’ shoes to head up the group. The firm also hired another Hogan Lovells partner, Chris McLaughlin, in January.

Over the past year, Weil has also witnessed the departures of partners including private equity star Mark Soundy to Shearman & Sterling, alongside tax partner Sarah Priestley and senior associate Simon Burrows (15 May 2013). Another tax partner Brenda Coleman exited for Ropes & Gray (13 December 2013).

Meanwhile, Latham & Watkins has been looking to bulk up its finance offering in London, hiring partner Lucy Oddy from Berwin Leighton Paisner in March (25 March 2014).

Weil’s London managing partner Mike Francies said in a statement that Gogna’s “experience acting for lenders and sponsors is a perfect fit with our growing finance practice, which has some of the best leveraged finance, high yield and structured finance partners in the London market.”

He continued: “In the last week alone we have received instructions on a number of new matters reflecting the strength of the team and the depth of the partner bench. Reena will only make that stronger.”

More more on Lucas’ departure, see our blog: Big bucks to the fore as Lucas shuns Weil for Kirkland (22 May 2014)