London’s Rudy awakening

Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential bid turned out to be one of the greatest US political mysteries of our time. Among the favourites when he announced his candidacy in 2006, largely on the back of his popularity in New York City, the former Big Apple mayor ended up pulling out of the Republican nomination race with two opponents still left.

The lawyer and honorary knight will be hoping his firm’s plans for London don’t follow the same path as his now all-but-forgotten campaign. Houston-based Bracewell & Giuliani, renamed from Bracewell & Patterson when Rudy joined it in 2005, has taken a major step towards becoming a presence in the London legal market by hiring two City energy lawyers into its partnership, from Simmons & Simmons and Herbert Smith Freehills. Sources indicate that Giuliani was closely involved in the plans for the London office, although he is not officially anything more than a partner whose name appears on the letterhead.

This is not the firm’s first attempt to crack London: in 2007 it tried to hire White & Case capital markets partner Peter Epp (now at Herbert Smith Freehills) but couldn’t close the deal, leading to a delay to its London launch. It later brought in Adam Mozel from Cleary Gottlieb to get the practice started and has been plotting further hires, effectively a re-launch, for months.

Last time around Giuliani had to miss the firm’s launch party due as he was occupied with the presidential race, but The Lawyer understands that this year’s London push will involve an imminent trip by ‘America’s Mayor’ to New York’s European financial rival.

Unless, of course, Rudy decides to give it all up and endorse John McCain as the office’s strategic commander in chief.


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