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‘A no-brainer’: Milbank hires four-partner Cadwalader team to upgrade City restructuring business

It has long been a prestigious New York shop without ever quite gaining critical mass in London, but Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy looks to be widening its ambitions after securing a four-partner restructuring team from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft.

The move greatly expands Milbank’s City finance team, and includes Cadwaladers’ global financial restructuring co-chair Yushan Ng. He will be joined by partners Jacqueline Ingram, Karen McMaster and Sinjini Saha. Clients of the team include brand name sponsors Oaktree, KKR, Centerbridge Capital Partners and Blackstone.

Speaking to Legal Business, Milbank London co-managing partner Suhrud Mehta described the hire as a ‘no-brainer’ from a business perspective: ‘We have one of the world’s most renowned global financial restructuring practices. By bringing a star and his team on board, we’ll have greater depth on a transatlantic basis and in London one of the largest financial restructuring practices.’

Ng qualified at Linklaters and made partner at the Magic Circle firm in 2008. He joined Cadwalader in 2012. McMaster and Ingram joined Cadwalader in 2013 also from Linklaters, where they were associates. Saha was an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett before joining Cadwalader as partner in 2015.

The hire comes eight years after Milbank recruited former Ashurst head of restructuring Nicholas Angel and brings the US firm’s London partner ranks to 26 – including six in restructuring. The 660-lawyer Milbank generated income of $855.6m in 2016, up 11% annually. During that financial year, London revenues edged up $4m to $114.1m.

The team’s departure leaves Cadwalader with four financial restructuring partners in London and comes after the firm posted revenues of $50m in 2017, a 10% increase on last year. The New York-based firm has been struggling to regain its 2000s momentum since the banking crisis, when it was heavily impacted by the collapse of key clients Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers.