When D.J. “Jan” Baker left Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in May to join Latham & Watkins, many in the legal industry wondered what it would mean for Skadden, which had just lost two M&A lawyers to Kirkland & Ellis.

But Baker’s departure was more a sign that Latham, always a stalwart on the creditors’ side in corporate bankruptcies, was getting serious about building up its presence on the debtors’ side.

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