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Fried Frank hires Mayer Brown’s restructuring head to launch City workouts practice

Having launched a trio of practice areas – finance, private equity and funds – in London in just over a year, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson has kick-started 2016 with the launch of a restructuring practice, appointing Mayer Brown‘s co-head of restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency Ashley Katz.

The hire comes as part of the firm’s wider strategy to ‘build out the core practice areas in Europe and support client needs by providing a strong bankruptcy and restructuring capability’, said Fried Frank chairman David Greenwald.

Katz leaves Mayer Brown after eight years having joined in 2008 from Allen & Overy where he was a senior associate. At Mayer Brown, Katz specialised in restructuring, insolvency related matters and distressed investing, and advised banks, borrowers, bondholders, insolvency practitioners, pension trustees and hedge funds. In recent years he advised both ATP Oil & Gas and Nordic Mines on their restructurings, and he acted on the Budapest Airport’s €1.35bn refinancing in 2014.

Fried Frank bankruptcy and restructuring practice Brad Eric Scheler said: ‘[Katz] will be fully integrated into our existing bankruptcy and restructuring team, working with us to deliver valuable counsel to clients who need initial deal structuring advice and assistance with transactions that involve distressed issues. Our current team is excited to collaborate with him as we act for funds and other creditors, as well as clients on the debtor side, on transatlantic assignments.’

The restructuring launch in London follows Fried Frank’s expansion of its asset management practice in Europe last year, which saw the addition of four partners in London – Kirkland’s high-profile funds trio Mark Mifsud, Kate Downey and Alexandra Conroy all resigned in May 2015, while O’Melveny & Myers private equity partner Daniel Oates joined early last year. Former King & Wood Mallesons financial markets partner Gregg Beechey and ex-Hogan Lovells finance partner Stuart Brinkworth also joined the firm in September.