Ashurst has tapped into the magic circle in a bid to strengthen its finance practice, hiring Linklaters debt capital markets (DCM) partner Francis Kucera to its City-based securities and derivatives practice.
In his new role, Kucera will strengthen Ashurst’s DCM offering in the emerging markets. He joins a two-partner team – including former Linklaters’ colleague Stephen Edlmann who joined in 2010 and Clifford Chance senior associate Derwin Jenkinson, who joined as a partner in January this year. The team is led by Anna Delgado, who joined from Allen & Overy ten years ago.
Kucera will begin his role at Ashurst in March 2014. The firm confirmed it is also actively looking to increase its DCM partner headcount globally, with the next hire most likely to be in Asia.
At Linklaters, Kucera gained wide-ranging expertise in international securities work on both the debt and equity side, particularly transactions across central and eastern Europe and the CIS region. He joined the Magic Circle firm as a trainee in 1989 and became managing partner in 2005 and co-managing partner of the Warsaw office in May 2009.
Recent work includes advising Barclays Capital on establishing an MTN Programme for Getin Bank of Poland and acting for the ministry of finance of the Czech Republic on its €3bn debt instrument programme.
Head of the debt capital markets team at Ashurst, Anna Delgado, said: ‘The expectation that there would be significant growth in the importance of debt capital markets following the financial crisis has certainly been borne out. There has been growth both in terms of size and the nature of participants in the market. We have a strong debt capital markets practice, which continues to be of strategic importance for the firm and one in which there are considerable opportunities.
‘Francis has a reputation for legal excellence and a strong client following, which make him a valuable addition to our existing practice. We have ambitious plans for the practice and we are confident that Francis will play a key role in helping us deliver on them.’
Kucera added: ‘I am delighted to be joining Ashurst. The demand for London-based capital market financings is strong and is only going to get stronger. There are huge opportunities for law firms and their clients in this area. Ashurst has a well-known practice and brand and I look forward to being part of the team that builds on that to create a full service, top tier capital markets practice.’
In other news, Simon Beddow has been named co-head of the firm’s global corporate, commercial and competition division, a role he will undertake with Sydney-based co-head Phil Breden. The post was previously held by Stephen Lloyd, who resigned from the firm in November and is set join to Allen & Overy, subject to partnership approval.