Wilkinson slopes off to Goldman Sachs

Another restructuring legend leaves the law for Goldman Sachs.

As we exclusively reveal today, Cadwalader’s Andrew Wilkinson is joining the bank later this year as co-head of restructuring alongside Lachlan Edwards. See story

He’s the second big-hitting lawyer to join the bank in recent times. Last June Kirkland & Ellis US bankruptcy star Jamie Sprayregen joined Goldman Sachs, also in a non-legal role.

So if Goldman Sachs is hiring two such influential figures in the restructuring world, does this mean a slump is around the corner?

Sources close to Goldman Sachs say the bank does not want to be seen to be saying the market has peaked. In fact, the Wilkinson move has been rumoured for a while, with Cadwalader’s relationship with the bank growing from Wilkinson’s high-profile work with Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall fund.

Cadwalader still has four London partners on workouts – five if you count James Douglas, who is shortly returning to his native New Zealand. Wilkinson’s exit this summer means that Douglas may have to stay a little longer than he originally anticipated.

It will be crucial for Cadwalader that it maintains its position at the top of the tree in workouts.
The firm’s competitors in Europe, such as Kirkland & Ellis, may be scenting some opportunities.

Meanwhile, Wilkinson and his team are off to the ski slopes for the weekend, with plenty to discuss. Let’s hope it’s not downhill from now on.