Baker McKenzie has appointed three new City lawyers, taking on Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer banking partner Geoff O’Dea, Travers Smith finance counsel Matthew Smith and Morrison & Foerster tech counsel Sue McLean – both of whom will be made up to partner in the move.
O’Dea was made up to partner in 2012 at the Magic Circle firm. Specialising in restructuring and insolvency and acquisition finance, O’Dea has a wide range of clients including sponsors, special situation funds, creditors and debtors, and insolvency practitioners.
Smith began at Travers Smith nine years ago. He began his legal career at Halliwells. He specialises in acquisition and leveraged finance, corporate lending, debt restructurings and general financing matters across a range of sectors.
Joining from MoFo, McLean has a broad practice advising on commercial and technology matters with particular experience advising on FinTech. She spent 10 years at the firm after moving from legacy Lawrence Graham, where she was an associate.
Baker McKenzie’s London banking and finance head Nick Tostivin said: ‘Geoff is a highly regarded banking lawyer whose excellent experience and reputation in the market makes him an ideal addition to our team.’ He added that O’Dea will ‘work closely with our restructuring experts to build out our capabilities even further.’
Freshfields has lost a number of finance partners this year, with some departing as part of a finance team restructure while other voluntarily left for other firms. Six finance partners exited Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer at the end of April, with two more losing equity status following the implementation of the restructure.
Kirkland & Ellis took on financial restructuring partner Sean Lacey in May, just six months after it brought on real estate finance partner Jonathan Birks from Freshfields. In April Fieldfisher recruited former Paris finance head Dougall Molson.
Last week, Freshfields confirmed joint managing partner Chris Pugh will step down less than half way into his term, the second person to vacate the position early in four years and the firm’s third unscheduled c-suite departure since 2013.