Banking lawyer Bruce Moorhead Jr. has left Hunton & Williams for a partnership at Jones Day.
He said he made the move after nine years as a partner at Hunton & Williams for the opportunity to work with a global firm with an extensive banking and finance practice.
Moorhead, who represents financial institutions in corporate loan transactions, said Jones Day, which he joined on July 1, has a “deep bench” in that area, with more than 150 lawyers worldwide in its banking and finance practice.
He said he wanted to “be part of a much larger team and as part of that team to work with others in expanding client relationships.”
Moorhead, 60, said that was the same motivation that prompted him to join Hunton & Williams from Smith, Gambrell & Russell in 2003. “I have nothing but good things to say about Hunton. It’s a terrific place with great people,” he said.
He said there is overlap between his clients and those of his new firm, and he’s known his Jones Day colleagues for many years, including Aldo LaFiandra, who recruited him.
Moorhead declined to name clients but said they were national and global financial institutions. He advised SunTrust Banks Inc. three years ago regarding an outstanding loan to Shane Co., after the jeweler filed for Chapter 11, according to published reports.
He’s represented agents in a $350 million Term B and revolving credit facility for the leveraged acquisition of a privately held nuclear waste disposal company, in a $215 million credit facility for a telecom company and a $160 million facility for the acquisition and working capital financing of a multistate drug store chain, among other loans, according to his firm bio.
Moorhead will work out of Jones Day’s Atlanta and New York offices, which he said he also did at Hunton.
“While Bruce’s work will be global and will include significant time in our New York office, I’m very happy that he will be working principally out of Atlanta,” said Lizanne Thomas, the partner-in-charge of the firm’s Atlanta office, in a statement. Thomas said the Atlanta office has a “world-class banking practice” with more than a dozen banking lawyers.
Hunton’s Atlanta managing partner, Kurt Powell, wished Moorhead the best and said in a statement his departure would not affect the local office’s banking practice, which has eight lawyers. “Our financial institutions practice continues to thrive in Atlanta and across the firm,” said Powell.
Moorhead handles all aspects of credit facilities for banks and non-bank financial institutions, from loan origination to workouts and bankruptcies.
He said he’s seeing more originations than workouts, despite the recession, but that commercial loan origination activity is nowhere close to pre-2009 levels.
The competition among lenders for loan originations is “fairly robust,” indicating “plenty of liquidity,” he said, but added that even so, “I am not seeing a level of activity that is in any way comparable to historic pre-2009 levels” for new corporate acquisitions which are “an essential driver of a significant part of our business.”
Bridget Christian has joined MendenFreiman as a senior attorney from Hoffman & Associates, where she was a partner. The eight-lawyer firm, which represents businesses, owners and affluent families in trusts, estates and business matters, recently hired Paige Baker as a senior attorney from Abrams, Davis, Mason & Long.
Hunton & Williams associate James D. Humphries IV has been named to the advisory committee of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. Another Hunton & Williams associate, Rhani Lott, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Atlanta Council of Young Lawyers.
Three DeKalb County middle school students will spend a week at Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., thanks to scholarships from intellectual property firm Fish & Richardson. The firm is covering tuition, airfare and accommodations for six days at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Space Camp for Askari Flewellen, Zariah Cain and Cameron Williams of S.E. Coan Middle School, along with 30 other students from cities where the Boston-based firm has offices.
“We hope this once-in-a lifetime experience will inspire the students to explore science and technology for the rest of their lives,” said Thad Kodish, managing partner of the firm’s Atlanta office, in a statement. The students will experience simulated space shuttle missions, participate in space exploration programs and learn about mission control. They will also receive a commemorative spacesuit.