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Linklaters has strengthened its New York corporate practice after transferring high-profile M&A partner Nick Rees from London. Rees, who has previously headed up both Linklaters’ Asian corporate practice and the firm’s Moscow office, has been a partner with Linklaters since 1994. He has a focus on the infrastructure and utilities sector and close links with Citigroup � last year advising on its $3 billion acquisition of Guangdong Development Bank. The top London law firm has been steadily building its New York office in recent times and now has more than 130 lawyers, including 29 partners. The firm also dramatically bolstered its contentious U.S. practice last year with the recruitment of a 16-lawyer litigation team from White & Case. Like many of its London rivals, Linklaters has failed to make serious inroads into corporate work in the U.S., last year losing its U.S. corporate and M&A head, Mark Palmer, to Bracewell & Giuliani after just two years with the firm. However, Linklaters, which is currently rolling out a new three-year strategy, has made little secret of its ambitions to substantially expand its U.S. transactional practice in the coming years. Linklaters U.S. managing partner Paul Wickes commented: “Nick is a highly experienced and talented attorney who has worked on countless transactions of all sizes and complexity. He will significantly enhance our U.S.-based cross-border M&A capabilities at a senior level.” He added: “We remain committed to growing the New York office.” The transfer of Rees comes after Linklaters’ arch rival, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, last month transferred two partners to its Manhattan arm as part of a similar U.S. push.

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