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Ashurst to lose five remaining New York structured finance launch partners to US firm

Five New York-based partners are to leave Ashurst for US finance firm Chapman and Cutler, completing the full departure of the ten-partner team the firm hired from McKee Nelson in 2009 to launch a structured finance practice.

Collateralised loan obligation (CLO) partners Pat Quill, David Nirenberg, Steve Kopp, Doug Bird and Tom Glushko will all leave Ashurst this week, after originally arriving as part of a 30-lawyer finance team which included ten partners in 2009. The deal gave Ashurst a presence in both New York and Washington DC.

The five-partner exit, the last of the ten partners to leave, follows the departure of Scott Faga and Eugene Ferrer for Paul Hastings in 2015, and Alice Yurke, Richard Davis and Michael Voldstad who each left between 2011 and 2015.

Ashurst global head of finance Helen Burton (pictured) attributed the departure to a ‘lack of alignment with the wider global finance business.’

Burton told Legal Business: ‘We don’t have a global CLO business anymore. The CLO market is a cyclical business.’

In a statement, Ashurst managing partner Paul Jenkins said that ‘the CLO practice is less relevant to our global structured finance practice’ and also confirmed that the firm will not look to replace the team.

‘The departures to Chapman and Cutler will not be detrimental to the profitability of our US or global business. We are pleased with the success we have had in our funds finance and infrastructure practice and we see real prospects for growth and investment in these areas’, Jenkins added.

Ashurst has lost a number of key partners in recent months, with the firm’s Paris office losing a four-partner team to Gibson Dunn & Crutcher earlier this year.

Litigation and restructuring partner Jean-Pierre Farges left alongside fellow disputes partners Pierre-Emmanuel Fender and Eric Bouffard, corporate partner Bertrand Delaunay and finance counsel Amanda Bevan.