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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has hired a senior lawyer from Goldman Sachs in a bid to boost its City-based US securities practice.Ken Martin, currently head of Goldman Sachs European special execution group, is joining Freshfields in London as a partner, under lead partner Tom Joyce.The appointment of Martin, who joined Goldmans in 1996 from the London office of US firm Shearman & Sterling, brings the number of partners in Freshfields’ Europe-based US securities practice to five.The recruitment of Martin will provide a lift to the magic circle firm’s securities practices, which has this year seen the departure of six lawyers, including partner John Chrisman.“We have been keen to grow the US securities practice in London for some time,” Joyce said, “but finding someone with the right technical skills and European experience has not been easy”.Freshfields’ move comes as the majority of leading City firms are building up US securities teams to cope the growing number of European clients seeking to tap the US capital markets, either through a debt issue or dual listing.Herbert Smith’s hire of Alan Hanen and Jim Wickenden from JP Morgan two years ago is widely credited with winning the firm capital markets instructions from investment banks such as CSFB, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Goldmans.Ashurst Morris Crisp has also publicly committed itself to building a securities-focused US capability to service its European client base.

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