Sullivan & Cromwell said Wednesday that it has recruited Linklaters banking and restructuring partner Christopher Howard to join the firm’s London office.
An S&C spokeswoman said the 43-year-old Howard—whose practice includes advising investment and commercial banks on cross-border restructuring and finance work—will join the firm in "the near future," but did not provide a specific date.
"S&C is an extraordinary firm that has executed some of the world’s largest restructurings and financings," Howard said in a statement issued by his new firm. "I have worked closely with a number of S&C partners over the years and look forward to bringing additional English law depth to the firm’s highly successful restructuring, distressed M&A, and finance practices."
Howard has done finance work for The Carlyle Group and Barclays and recently was part of a Linklaters team representing international lenders to the Dubai Group in its recent $10 billion debt restructuring. Some of Howard’s other past clients include Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, and HSBC, according to U.K. publication Legal Week.
S&C’s recent bankruptcy work has included serving as lead debtor’s counsel on longtime client Eastman Kodak’s Chapter 11 proceedings, a process in which Linklaters advised Kodak on European restructuring matters. (The Am Law Daily reported last year on S&C’s unique role in that matter and earlier this month on both the fees it has earned and the work it has performed in putting the company on a path out of bankruptcy.)
S&C has also advised Chrysler on various restructuring matters after representing Fiat on the Italian car company’s 2009 acquisition of the U.S. automaker out of bankruptcy. The firm has also landed work in recent years related to the bankruptcies of commercial lender CIT Group, mall owner General Growth Properties, and mortgage insurer The PMI Group.
Richard Morrissey, managing partner of S&C’s London office, said in a statement that Howard is adept at cross-border work and his arrival "will enhance [S&C's] ability to handle pan-European restructuring as well as support [S&C's] expanding finance practice."
Andrew Dietderich, head of S&C’s U.S. restructuring practice, added that Howard will be a valuable asset on high-profile global restructurings like those involving Kodak and Chrysler. "Our restructuring engagements are rarely confined to one jurisdiction, and the entire team in the United States looks forward to working side-by-side with Chris in the years to come," Dietderich said in a statement.
Howard leaves Linklaters some three years after moving over from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which he joined as a partner in 2004 from Linklaters, where he was a senior associate. Legal Week reported at the time of Howard’s second go-round with Linklaters that he was following a trail blazed by fellow former Freshfields partners David Ereira and Brian Gray, who switched Magic Circle firms in 2007. (Both Ereira and Gray are still with Linklaters.)
As we have reported in the past, S&C does not hire lateral partners often. In January 2012, the firm welcomed intellectual property special counsel Spencer Simon to its Palo Alto office from Jones Day. Another major addition to that office came in 2010, when S&C hired IP partner Nader Mousavi from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr and named him cochair of the firm’s IP group.
The following year, S&C added former Freshfields’s Hong Kong managing partner, Kay Ian Ng, to lead its own Hong Kong law practice. S&C reached outside its ranks in 2011 for another addition to its London office, bringing criminal defense counsel Louise Delahunty aboard from U.K. firm Simmons & Simmons. The Am Law Daily reported at the time that Delahunty’s hiring fit with a developing trend among U.K. firms who were bulking up their white-collar crime practices before the U.K. Bribery Act took effect.