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Fieldfisher makes major structured finance play with Freshfields hire

Fieldfisher has picked up Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer‘s former Paris finance head Dougall Molson. The appointment follows the Magic Circle firm’s rejig of its finance practice, which will see six finance partners leave at the end of the month.

The structured finance partner specialises in complex structured finance, commodity finance and derivatives. His clients have included Talk Talk Telecommunications Group, and a variety of investment banks. He moved to the Magic Circle firm’s London office from Paris in 2015 and will join Fieldfisher’s London office on 1 May.

For Fieldfisher, the move follows its stated strategy to invest in technology, energy & natural resources and finance & financial services as the firm’s three ‘accelerated’ focuses.

His appointment follows last year’s hire of Mayer Brown securities partner Richard Todd to Fieldfisher’s derivatives and structured finance group.

Fieldfisher’s head of derivatives and structured finance Guy Usher (pictured) said: ‘Dougall has got a good solid structured finance practice, he’s worked alongside Richard so they know each other. In addition, he’s been doing quite a lot of structured commodity finance in recent years which is quite valuable to us. His normal deal is probably at the higher end of our normal flow, so he’s bringing in more complex commodity financing.’

Earlier this month Legal Business revealed six finance partners will leave Freshfields at the end of this month, with two more to leave the equity while the Magic Circle law firm implements a restructure of its finance practice.

Legal Business chose not to name the five City partners and one New York partner who will leave the firm at the end of April, including three London partners whose exits come as result of the recent rejig of the Magic Circle firm’s practice. Finance has about 34 partners in London and more than 70 globally.

Two others – one in New York and another in London – are to give up equity partner status in April but it is understood they will remain with the firm in other roles.

In addition to the eight which leave the partnership this financial year, two partner exits from the London practice are expected for April 2018. Another finance partner in Asia, who has already left the firm, was also affected by the recalibration.