Cadwalader’s Link retires months after ending City stint

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft’s former firmwide chairman Bob Link has retired seven months after returning to the US from the UK, where he had been London head.

Link, who became firmwide managing partner after relinquishing the chairman role to Chris White, relocated on a part-time basis to Cadwalader’s City arm after it lost seven partners to Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker in 2009. Link retired from the firm and the law during the summer.

Former Allen & Overy capital markets partner Angus Duncan, who took over from Link as London head, said the American had “provided stability” during a turbulent period for Cadwalader.

“One of the things we learned from that time was that we needed more transatlantic communication and while Chris [White] drove it, Bob helped provide that by being here for half his time,” said Duncan. “He also provided input on how we should expand London.”

Link will be remembered as the man who, as both chairman and managing partner, oversaw a period of decline at Cadwalader and the London office in particular.

The firm was among the first in the US to make significant redundancies and, as profits crashed, Link was ousted from the management committee (17 November 2008).

Duncan said Cadwalader’s attention was now firmly focused on rebuilding its London office, which currently has just three partners.

“We have a coherent strategy targeting specific areas where the brand of the firm and our US practice will help us generate business,” added Duncan.