The move will see four highly regarded banking and capital markets partners, including the co-head of W&C's London bank finance group, Christopher Kandel, leave for Latham. The departures will increase the size of Latham's London-based finance practice to 20 lawyers.
Legal Week reports that Kandel and bank finance partner Sam Hamilton have already left W&C and joined Latham. Fellow W&C partners Brian Conway and Jayanthi Sadanandan are expected to join Latham in the coming weeks.
The move is a big blow to W&C's London operations, Legal Week reports, noting that the firm has lost a number of high-profile partners from that office in recent years. The firm recently lost high-yield partner Jonathan Bloom to Ropes & Gray in October. Bloom left the firm to join former W&C finance partners Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz, who previously defected from W&C in March 2008 for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
In August, restructuring partner Dan Hamilton defected for Ashurst, with W&C losing three banking and capital markets partners that same month to Greenberg Traurig's new London office. Legal Week reports that W&C's bank finance practice, now led by Magdalene Bayim-Adomako, will consist of just two other partners and 30 associates.
Eric Berg, head of W&C's global banking group in New York, told Legal Week that the firm is committed to the practice in London and has plans for adding more partners this year.
This article first appeared on The Am Law Daily blog on AmericanLawyer.com.