The chairs of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft’s financial restructuring department are decamping to O’Melveny & Myers to lead that firm’s practice.
John Rapisardi and George Davis, former cochairs of Cadwalader’s global financial restructuring department, and former Cadwalader partner Peter Friedman will join O’Melveny in the next few days. Rapisardi, a Law Journal columnist, who was a member of Cadwalader’s management committee, and Davis are based in New York, while Friedman is in Washington, D.C.
Rapisardi represented the U.S. Treasury Department in the Chrysler and General Motors bankruptcies and represented petrochemical company LyondellBasell in its bankruptcy. Davis has been involved in the restructurings of Dynegy, Edison Mission Energy, and AES Eastern Energy.
In an interview, Davis and Rapisardi, who moved to Cadwalader in 2007 from Weil Gotshal & Manges, said they had a number of offers over the years. "When I heard that O’Melveny was looking for a restructuring group on the East Coast, it was something that piqued my interest," Rapisardi said.
Rapisardi said they are leaving on good terms from Cadwalader. "This is not about money, this is not about glory. We’ve done extremely well at Cadwalader," he said. He said they were attracted to O’Melveny’s collaborative culture and pro bono work and he believes they can make more inroads with debtor, creditor and hedge fund clients. O’Melveny chairman Brad Butwin said taking on the group was not about buying "books of business" but part of a long-term strategy.
A Cadwalader spokesman said the firm wishes the trio "success in their new endeavor." Cadwalader named Gregory Petrick, head of the firm’s European and Asian restructuring practice and currently managing partner of the London office, and Washington partner Mark Ellenberg as cochairs of its financial restructuring department.