Rowe & Maw boosts banking team with Eversheds partner

Rowe & Maw is ramping up its banking department and adding a senior partner from Eversheds‘ London office.

Simon Pullen, the third loss for Eversheds’ City banking team in a year, will add more across-the-board banking expertise and boost the firm’s trade finance practice.

Rowe & Maw is on a push to get more work from the banking clients it is already acting for, despite its reputation as a corporate firm.

Pullen will be the fifth partner in the banking group, which acts for institutions like American Express Bank, Nationwide Building Society, Bank of America, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Apax Partners.

Neil Morrison, head of banking at Rowe & Maw, says: “One of the constraints we’ve suffered is that our banking group is small, and Simon is there to get more work from the banks we currently work for.”

The group also boasts corporate borrower clients including EMI Group, ICI, NEC, Cable & Wireless, Unilever and Reuters.

Pullen was a partner at Frere Cholmeley from 1986 and became a partner of Eversheds following the firms’ merger in 1998.

Morrison says: “He essentially does a full range of banking work – syndicated loans and property and trade finance. Trade finance is going to be particularly useful because it’s not a major feature of our practice.”

The core banking teams at the firm do property finance, corporate finance, telecoms and asset finance.

Morrison declines to comment on Pullen’s clients, but The Lawyer understands that he acted for a wide range of banks and issuers. One of Eversheds’ biggest London banking clients is HSBC, but Pullen is not thought to have done a great deal of work for it.

Last summer saw the head of European banking at Eversheds David Halliday quit for US firm Buchanan Ingersoll; at the same time, senior banking partner Robin Parsons quit for Sidley & Austin.

This latest move leaves the firm with one purely banking partner in London, Indraj Mangat, along with financial services partner Antony Thomlinson, who heads the group.

Pullen’s departure, though, may not come as such a blow to Eversheds, as it is currently restructuring its partnership, which represents 20 partners. Ten of those will be moved from equity to salaried partner status, while the remainder will be asked to leave or retire from the firm (The Lawyer, 15 January).

There is no suggestion that this was the reason for Pullen’s departure. Eversheds was unavailable for comment.