(Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM)
Less than a month after six partners left London-based legal giant Ashurst’s New York office, one of those defectors, Lawrence Berkovich, has reemerged at Allen & Overy.
Berkovich is the only member of the group to set off on his own—his five former Ashurst colleagues joined Chapman and Cutler—but his talks with Allen & Overy were reported on late last month by sibling publication Legal Week. The Magic Circle firm has now sealed its hire of Berkovich, who specializes in the structured financing of collateralized loan obligations (CLOs).
While a restructuring of Ashurst’s U.S. operations saw the firm stop doing such work in New York, where Berkovich joined the British firm in 2015 from Mayer Brown, Allen & Overy is evidently keen on bolstering its securitization and structured finance expertise.
Berkovich’s hire represents the ninth partner addition that Allen & Overy has made to its New York office within the past year. The firm now has 22 finance partners in New York.
“Larry is an excellent addition to our team,” said a statement by Tim House, who earlier this year was named senior partner for Allen & Overy’s U.S. and Latin America operations. “His extensive top-level experience and impressive technical knowledge will be an asset to our clients. This is another significant step in our commitment to grow our US practice.”
In March, House spoke with Legal Week about his plans to expand Allen & Overy in the U.S. Last summer, the firm significantly expanded its operations stateside by adding a four-partner finance team recruited from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, Proskauer Rose and White & Case. Those moves came as Ashurst moved away from CLO work in the U.S. following the departure of a team of lawyers in London to Paul Hastings, which in 2015 had hired a nine-lawyer team from Ashurst in New York that focused on CLOs.
Berkovich comes to Allen & Overy a few weeks after the firm saw project finance partner Dolly Mirchandani depart for White & Case in New York. Nicolas Fermaud, a former counsel in charge of Allen & Overy’s Luxembourg desk in New York, also left the firm in July to join Luxembourg-based Elvinger Hoss Prussen as counsel.
Allen & Overy did hire senior counsel Sara Lenet in May for its financial services regulatory group in Washington, D.C., from Alston & Bird, where she was a senior associate.