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Scotsman Kevin Dunn flirted with an American law firm, but ultimately decided not to commit. Dunn returned to his job as general counsel for GE Capital’s European commercial finance group this summer after just 18 months as an acquisition finance partner in the London office of Los Angeles-based Latham & Watkins. The 39-year-old solicitor says he returned to GE Capital because of the company’s rapid growth after it acquired Heller Financial, Inc. in 2001. Dunn’s division, which provides working capital finance to small and midsize businesses, has more than doubled in size, handling much bigger deals. GE Capital didn’t fill Dunn’s job while he was gone, which made his return that much easier. Why go to Latham in the first place? “They asked,” Dunn says. Beyond that, he says that before the Heller acquisition, the commercial finance group wasn’t growing particularly fast. Latham, on the other hand, was enlarging its London office, with “great plans” for expanding into continental Europe. Those plans were well on the way to success, Dunn says, when he left the firm. At Latham, Dunn, who’s a 1985 University of Cambridge law graduate, teamed up with partner James Chesterman. The two men worked on developing a complex, cross-border leveraged finance practice. But the market for that type of work wasn’t as hot as Dunn had hoped. He also admits that law firm life makes him uneasy. After a deal closes, he says, “you’re worried about where your next piece of work is coming from.”

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