Latham suffers rare partner departure as Sidley Austin swoops

Latham & Watkins has been hit by a rare partner departure with the loss of a New York-based real estate finance lawyer to Sidley Austin Brown & Wood.

Sidley Austin’s 30-plus strong executive committee last week approved the hire of Brian Krisberg who has been with Latham since 1996 following a stint at Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy.

It is understood that management and executive committee member George Petrow, a securities and corporate finance partner with a specialism in the securitisation of commercial mortgage loans, sponsored Krisberg’s move to Sidley Austin.

Latham posted higher average profits per partner than Sidley Austin for the last financial year, at $1.2m compared to $900,000. However, sources state that Sidley Austin has a larger “platform” in real estate financing compared to Latham & Watkins.

Latham is committed to significant expansion of its real estate finance practice in the near future.

Although it has suffered a loss, Latham has in the past few months had a good run of laterals and most recently scored a major coup taking on four partners from New York powerhouse Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, including debt star Marc Hanrahan.