White & Case sent Mike Goetz to London in 2000 to take its City finance practice to a new level. Thirteen years – and two law firms – later, he’s still one of the biggest names on the London scene. LB meets a banking legend.
Ropes & Gray’s London office has just turned three years old and more than a few cynics didn’t expect it to last that long. Former White & Case finance partners Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz had just spent a disastrous 18 months at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer before announcing that they would be fronting the Boston-based private equity firm’s London offering in 2009. The aftershock of the collapse of Lehman Brothers was in full effect and Allen and Goetz had failed in their quest to build a strong transactional banking practice at Freshfields to rival Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy.