Robert O. Link Jr., who led Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft to record profits for more than a decade until the structured finance sector stalled in mid-2007, quietly retired this summer, leaving the practice of law behind.

The unannounced departure took place July 1, Link, 55, said Thursday. Link, the firm’s former chairman and managing partner, left Cadwalader after being replaced as chairman in 2008 and later being left off of the firm’s management committee.