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King & Spalding makes City funds play with hire of top-tier Cadwalader team

Five-strong fund finance team finds new home at K&S with further hires on the cards.

King & Spalding has hired a funds finance team from Cadwalader into its London office, led by Legal 500 fund finance leading individual Samantha Hutchinson.

The team includes four Cadwalader partners and one special counsel who will join K&S as a partner, with a number of junior lawyers also set to make the move.  

Along with Hutchinson, the partners are funds finance experts Mathan Navaratnam and Legal 500 next-generation partner Nathan Parker, as well as ESG co-chair Sukhvir Basran, who joined Cadwalader from Hogan Lovells in December 2022. Special counsel James Hoggett, who came to the firm as an associate in 2018 from Dentons at the same time as Hutchinson, will also be joining.

The departures will leave Cadwalader with just 20 partners in London, according to the firm’s website, and comprise the bulk of its top-tier London fund finance group. Of the lawyers named in the firm’s Legal 500 fund finance ranking, only one remains: special counsel George Pelling. The firm’s website lists 11 other London funds finance lawyers.

For K&S, meanwhile, the moves are evidence that the firm is in growth mode in London, following on from last October’s announcement that it would upsize its premises with a move to 41,000 square feet of office space on levels 27-31 of 8 Bishopsgate. ‘On a strategic level, our growth plans presented us with a choice to either be conservative or ambitious when it came to office space’, the firm’s London managing partner Tom Sprange KC told Legal Business at the time. ‘We opted for ambition.’ 

Sprange also spoke of a need to ‘balance our practice’ – to expand in transactional work alongside the office’s experience on the contentious side. The firm built up its non-contentious benches with its October 2022 hires of private equity partners Amit Kataria and Paul Barron from Morrison Foerster and Dickson Minto respectively. In March, capital markets partner Peter Schwartz joined the firm, reuniting with his former colleagues Richard Kitchen and Amin Doulai, who had also left Paul Hastings for K&S in August 2022. 

A Cadwalader spokesperson said in a statement: ‘We are grateful for our former colleagues’ contributions and wish them success in all their future endeavors. We’re proud of our market-leading trans-Atlantic fund finance practice, which has seen tremendous success and will continue to serve as the go-to team for sophisticated cross-border transactions. Fund finance is a key component of our robust, multi-practice team in London. For 30 years, we’ve built an exceptional group of attorneys and staff in the UK, and recently expanded our London office footprint to accommodate our continued growth.’