Top 50 US Firms in London Rank15

New York’s Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy made waves in London at the start of 2018 when it hired a four-partner restructuring team from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft that included the latter firm’s global financial restructuring co-chair and former Linklaters partner Yushan Ng. It was a particularly bold move for the generally cautious US firm and one that has given it one of the most significant transatlantic restructuring teams. The firm’s credentials in that area were underlined by its involvement

New York’s Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy made waves in London at the start of 2018 when it hired a four-partner restructuring team from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft that included the latter firm’s global financial restructuring co-chair and former Linklaters partner Yushan Ng. It was a particularly bold move for the generally cautious US firm and one that has given it one of the most significant transatlantic restructuring teams. The firm’s credentials in that area were underlined by its involvement in numerous matters in 2017, not least the $18bn restructuring of part of Caesars Entertainment in the US.

The move also made the City legal market watchers sit up as it was Milbank’s most significant lateral recruitment effort in London and its first partner hire since 2015. But it wasn’t long before it was at it again, bringing in Shearman & Sterling’s European and Middle East capital markets practice group head Apostolos Gkoutzinis also in January.

This level of lateral hiring activity is generally atypical for Milbank. While it was one of the early movers internationally in an expansion strategy led by project finance (projects-related work remain a core part of Milbank’s global practice) the firm has tended to prefer slow and steady growth. The firm remains one of the smaller of the leading US major players with fewer than 700 lawyers ranged over a dozen offices, but what it lacks in headcount it makes up for in profitability with average partner profits currently standing at around $3.5m.

Indeed Milbank, which was founded in 1866, has been on something of a roll over the past few years. Though it is not in its DNA to embark on a path of game-changing mergers or adding new jurisdictions via vereins, Milbank’s total revenue has been relentlessly closing in on the $1bn mark over the past few years and is now comfortably in excess of $900m. London, at around $125m last year, is a major contributor to that growth. Indeed, earlier this year Milbank confirmed that 2017 had been its best year ever globally as well as in Europe and the UK.