A flurry of law firm hiring activity has put a number of New York-based restructuring and bankruptcy partners on the move, with Hogan Lovells becoming the latest to pick up a specialist in the practice area after recent hires by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Latham & Watkins and O’Melveny & Myers.
On Monday, Hogan Lovells announced the arrival of Douglas Taber, a former lead executive counsel for restructuring and banking at GE Capital. Taber has joined the law firm’s bankruptcy, restructuring and insolvency practice as a partner in New York, a move that the firm said would bolster its expertise and build on other recent hires on the other side of the U.S. In April, Hogan Lovells added Rick Wynne, Bennett Spiegel and Erin Brady to the firm’s Los Angeles office—a three-partner group, led by Wynne, who decamped from Jones Day.
In Taber, Hogan Lovells gains a partner who previously spent more than 17 years at GE Capital, where he played key roles in handling U.S. bankruptcies, cross-border insolvencies and restructuring work that took place outside of court. His time at GE Capital also overlapped with the global financial crisis and its aftermath. Earlier in his career, Taber worked in private practice at Goldberg Kohn, where he became a partner in 1995 before jumping to the in-house role at GE Capital in 2000.
“We have been strategically expanding our [bankruptcy, restructuring and insolvency] practice and the banking practice nationwide to provide lender-side restructuring advice,” Chris Donoho, co-head of the practice group for Hogan Lovells’ U.S. operations, said in a statement. “Doug’s experience and reputation in New York will enable us to continue our strong performance in a very competitive market.”
With the arrival of Taber, Hogan Lovells becomes the latest law firm to add to its restructuring practice in New York.
In late August, Morgan Lewis announced its addition of Craig Wolfe, a veteran finance partner with specialties in representing distressed debtors in Chapter 11 cases and out-of-court restructurings. Wolfe came to Morgan Lewis from Kelley Drye & Warren, which he joined in 2014.
Beyond Hogan Lovells and Morgan Lewis, Latham and O’Melveny have both contributed to a spate of lateral hiring in the restructuring realm.
Earlier this month, Latham said its New York office had drawn former O’Melveny partner Andrew Parlen, who joined his new firm’s restructuring, insolvency and workouts practice. Parlen spent his time at O’Melveny working on high-profile restructurings that saw him recognized as one of the New York Law Journal’s Rising Stars in 2017, including his work for U.S. printing and specialty papers producer Verso Corp. in a $2.4 billion Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in 2016.
Parlen’s move to Latham landed him alongside former O’Melveny partner George Davis, who became global co-chair of Latham’s restructuring practice. Davis also joined in New York.
While O’Melveny has seen some notable departures, it also has been on the receiving end of restructuring hires in New York, including Nancy Mitchell, the former co-chair of Greenberg Traurig’s global restructuring and bankruptcy practice. O’Melveny announced in June that Mitchell was coming on board, and she was eventually joined by bankruptcy veteran Maria DiConza, now a partner at O’Melveny, and Matthew Hinker, who serves as of counsel. As a team, the three lawyers have represented Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority in bankruptcy proceedings.
At the time of that lateral hire, Mitchell and the others—all based in New York—were expected to continue handling Puerto Rico-related matters at O’Melveny, which advised the island’s government on its historically large $120 billion restructuring.