Linklaters DCM partner Kucera leaves for Ashurst

Ashurst has hired Linklaters debt capital markets partner Francis Kucera, in a boost to its securities and derivatives practice.

Kucera Francis Ashurst 2013
Francis Kucera

Kucera has been at Linklaters since joining as a trainee in 1989. He works primarily from the firm’s City base but is a regular visitor to its Warsaw office, where he has held the post of co-managing partner since 2009.

He specialises in international securities work, with a particular emphasis on financings in Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS region. Recent transactions include advising the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic on its €3bn (£2.5bn) debt instrument programme, and advising the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance on its sovereign bond financing since 2004.

Kucera’s move will see him reunited with former Linklaters colleague Stephen Edlmann, who held the roles of international finance chief and co-head of equity capital markets at the firm before joining Ashurst in November 2010 as a consultant. Kucera will also work alongside recent hire Derwin Jenkinson, who was a senior associate at Clifford Chance prior to moving to Ashurst in January 2013 (28 January 2013).

Ashurst’s four-partner DCM team now consists entirely of former magic circle lawyers, headed by Anna Delgado who transferred from Allen & Overy 10 years ago.

Delgado said: “We’ve been developing our DCM practice for a couple of years, and our practice is doing fantastically well. Kucera’s hire is very exciting because it fits so beautifully and naturally with our current practice.”

The firm intends to bolster its DCM team in London, with a view to expanding globally. She added that Ashurst will “almost definitely” be making more lateral partner hires.

Kucera said: “There are lots of opportunities in the capital markets arena, but the thing that excites me is the opportunity to build a practice.”

He continued: “I’ll obviously focus on emerging markets and developing Ashurst’s work in that area, but I’ll also be doing DCM and ECM work in the UK and Western Europe.”

Kucera will start at the firm in early March 2014.

The hire counters the flow of Ashurst partners who have recently left the firm. Just last week its German private equity head Nikolaus von Jacobs departed to lead McDermott Will & Emery’s presence in the jurisdiction (6 December 2013).

Last week The Lawyer also reported that Allen & Overy partners were voting on the hire of the firm’s Ashurst’s global corporate head Stephen Lloyd (3 December 2013).

Within the last few months, the firm has also witnessed the exit of two real estate partners, Matthew Hooten and Anthony Burnett-Scott (21 October 2013), and City corporate stalwart Eavan Saunders Cole who is relocating to Ireland (11 November 2013).

Linklaters’ capital markets practice has also seen its fair share of departures this year, with Singapore partner Arun Balasubramanian leaving for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in July (9 July 2013), and a three-partner Parisian capital markets team moving to White & Case in February (28 February 2013).