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Weil, Gotshal & Manges has surprised London by poaching a leading European counsel from London rival Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Wayne Rapozo — a U.S. capital markets and financing specialist — will join the firm as partner this month. The move follows the announcement last Wednesday that Ron Daitz, the firm’s top banking lawyer, would be dispatched from New York to spearhead a plan to rebuild the firm’s London finance practice. He is known to be one of a number of leading finance lawyers currently in talks with Weil Gotshal. Further additions to the firm’s banking department are expected imminently. Mike Francies, head of the London office says: “By bringing in Ron on the banking side and Wayne on the high yield side, we are responding to added demands from our banking and private equity clients.” The firm has also just secured an extra 12,000 square feet of office space to accommodate the planned growth of its London office. The new space will house a further 50 lawyers and 25 support staff. Akiko Mikumo, head of Weil, Gotshal’s U.S. practice in London, says: “Many of us have worked with Wayne in both New York and London during the past ten years. He is a superb SEC lawyer and a creative legal thinker.”

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