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Akin Gump finishes the job and takes four more partners from Bingham

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has continued its takeover of Bingham McCutchen’s $50m revenue London office with the hire of four more partners leaving only two partners representing the beleaguered US firm in the City.

The firm, which last week brought in a 22-partner team that pulled partners from London, Frankfurt and Hong Kong, has almost finalised plans to rebrand Bingham’s office with an Akin Gump plaque, with the two remaining partners understood to be looking to move to other firms in the City.

London-based corporate partner Vance Chapman, a private equity specialist with close ties to the esteemed restructuring practice spearheaded by James Roome, Barry Russell and James Terry, that has already agreed to join Akin Gump, moves across alongside funds duo Thomas ‘John’ Holton and Thiha Tun. The moves take the number of partners at the combined entity up to 40.

Holton’s exit will add to Bingham’s woes, with his switch as part of the London-led exodus creating the first US dent. Holton is a longstanding partner at Bingham, with 19 years under his belt, and splits his time between Boston and the City. He focuses on launching and restructuring private equity and hedge funds and adds US regulatory experience in London at a time when firms – including international juggernaut Baker & McKenzie – have sought to build such capability.

Hong Kong-based corporate partner Matthew Puhar follows fellow corporate partner Charles Rogers and financial restructuring partner Naomi Moore to Akin Gump’s Hong Kong office. His exit takes Bingham down to just three partners in the province, making it half the size it was just a fortnight ago.

Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith said: ‘The chance to welcome these additional stellar lawyers further reinforces this outstanding opportunity. This continued expansion of our capabilities and services in these critical markets is further evidence of our commitment to the development of a truly robust international platform that plays to our strengths and benefits our clients.’

Sebastian Rice, who will continue to head Akin Gump’s post-merger London office, added: ‘The arrival of this team will undoubtedly be of great benefit to our top-flight London funds practice and enhance our globally recognised corporate team.’