Cross (pictured), who counts Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group as clients, is set to join Cadwalader’s City office in the coming weeks. The move comes as part of a broader push by Cadwalader in London, with headcount at its City office growing 17% to 56 lawyers last year after a long period of stasis.
Cross, who served as Europe head of finance until the recent restructuring of the firm’s practice groups in London, down from 17 to three practices, leaves KWM after 13 years at the firm. He joined legacy firm SJ Berwin, which combined with KWM in 2013, from Osborne Clarke in 2003 where he was also a partner. He was made head of finance at SJ Berwin in 2008.
Cross is the latest in a long line of partners to leave KWM’s European and Middle East practice, with the firm’s finance group markedly diminished. Cross’s departure comes just days funds finance specialist Robert Andrews left for Ashurst, with leveraged finance specialist Simon Fulbrook having quit for Goodwin Procter last year and Chris Fanner having moved to Gateley just three years after his high-profile arrival from Herbert Smith Freehills. Cross is a broad hand, acting on acquisition, real estate and funds finance.
KWM’s European practice has had a turbulent start to the year, with managing partner William Boss resigning in January just nine months into the role and a partnership restructuring taking place in March that axed 15% of the firm’s partners in Europe and the Middle East. The firm has also overhauled its practice structure, cutting 17 practice teams into three overarching streams: corporate finance and funds; dispute resolution and regulation; and real estate.
Separate from the restructuring, KWM in April lost a six-partner private equity team in Paris to Goodwin Procter, with the group through to have walked out with £8m worth of billings.