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Allen & Overy bolsters US securities offering with former Skadden partner hire in Australia

Allen & Overy (A&O) has added a three-strong US securities team to its Australian operations. The team joins the firm after leaving Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which confirmed it was closing its Sydney office in February, reducing its presence to just one partner in the country.

Former Skadden partner Mark Leemen brings counsel Cécile Baume and associate Matthew Lim to A&O. The team have advised on six of the 10 largest IPOs in Australia and New Zealand since 2013, including the IPO of WiseTech Global, the global logistics software company, which is Australia’s newest A$1bn technology listing. Recent clients for the team have included Scentre Group, Transurban, Westpac, leading investment banks operating in Australia, and the Commonwealth Department of Finance, which Leemen represented on the Medibank privatisation and IPO.

The trio will be based in Sydney and joins a team of 21 partners based in A&O’s Sydney and Perth offices, which hold a focus on corporate, finance, litigation and antitrust.

Australia capital markets practice lead Tony Sparks said of the hires: ‘US securities expertise is a critical component of many of the fundraising transactions that we are involved in and this addition creates a unique integrated capital markets offering to our clients’.

Skadden Arps has retained one partner in Sydney since announcing the office closure, with co-head of its corporate finance group Adrian Deitz remaining in Sydney as part of the firm’s Singapore and Hong Kong team.