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Barclays exits continue as M&A legal chief departs for Simmons & Simmons

Barclays’ M&A chief, Khasruz Zaman, is set to exit the banking giant after a decade in its Canary Wharf HQ for City firm Simmons & Simmons.

Zaman will join Simmons’ London office as a corporate and commercial partner on 1 September. With Simmons fortunes having returned after a buoyant year in the City, Zaman will bring weight to the firm’s M&A function.

During his time at Barclays, Zaman has guided the British bank through a £226m deal in 2009 to purchase the banking arm of insurer Standard Life and credit card companies Egg from US rival Citigroup in 2011. He also advised Barclays on its proposed takeover of ABN Amro, which was infamously acquired by The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) shortly before the financial crisis.

Zaman began his legal career at Slaughter and May before joining what was then Lovells after seven years at the Magic Circle firm.

He becomes the latest in a long line of exits from Barclays, with the bank’s EMEA general counsel for its investment banking arm Erica Handling switching to funds manager BlackRock earlier this year, US general counsel Carlos Pelayo moving to Merrill Lynch in January while financial crime chief Jonathan Peddie will join Baker & McKenzie this September. Deputy group general counsel Michael Shaw also resigned after six years in the role in June, while global general counsel of corporate and investment banking Judith Shepherd stepped down earlier this year.

Simmons recently posted record revenues for the 12 months to 30 April 2015, with its gross income rising 8% to £290m as profits per equity partner soared by nearly £100,000 to hit a new high of £649,000. Barclays is one of the firm’s biggest clients, with financial services giants Santander and RBS among the firm’s core client base.

Mark Curtis, head of Simmons & Simmons’ international corporate and commercial group, said: ‘We are pleased to welcome Khasruz to our corporate practice. His arrival marks the continued development and investment in our current M&A capability and expertise, while bringing real insight and industry strength to financial institutions as one of our five key sector priorities.’