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Allen & Overy loses litigation partner Florent to Baker McKenzie’s City hiring spree

Allen & Overy (A&O) has lost its second London partner in as many weeks with the defection of Marc Florent (pictured), head of the Magic Circle firm’s UK insolvency litigation practice, to the expansive City office of Baker McKenzie.

The rare London exit nevertheless follows the news last week (19 August) that A&O’s head of fraud Mona Vaswani was leaving after 26 years to join US rival Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.

The moves come as A&O has still yet to make an announcement over a potential transatlantic tie-up with the litigation-heavy O’Melveny & Myers after nearly 18 months of speculation.

Florent had been at A&O for more than 19 years and has been a partner since 2002. Before that he worked at fellow Magic Circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for nearly 10 years.

He is experienced in banking and finance litigation with a particular focus on wholesale and retail banking sectors, asset management, funds and sponsors on cross-border matters.

Steve Abraham, Bakers’ London and EMEA head of dispute resolution, commented: ‘Marc is a great addition to our growing and highly successful dispute resolution team in both banking and finance litigation and broader commercial litigation. Marc is a top tier and highly experienced practitioner whose joining will help us to go from strength to strength.’

Bakers’ financial institutions group global chair Jonathan Peddie said the hire would add significantly to the firm’s contentious offering.

In the last 12 months Bakers has made ten London partner hires, including Prabhu Narasimhan from White & Case (tax), Philip Thomson from Ashurst (corporate/energy, mining & infrastructure), Philip Annett from A&O (financial services), Caitlin McErlane from Sidley Austin (financial services), Peter Lu from White & Case (corporate M&A), Rob Mathews from White & Case (capital markets), David Becker from White & Case (capital markets), Mathew Dening from Sidley Austin (structured capital markets) and Haden Henderson from Ropes & Gray (capital markets).

Former Ropes & Gray partner Tony Horspool also joined the banking and finance team as a consultant specialising in restructuring in August.

Last year A&O lost Daniel Busse, the head of its German dispute resolution team, who left to form his own boutique, as well as intellectual property partner Nicola Dagg, who joined Kirkland & Ellis last October.