Legal Business Blogs

Latham ignores Brexit fears and continues City investment charge with Ashurst’s Baskerville

Just two weeks after taking Ashurst’s global co-head of financial regulation, Latham & Watkins has returned to the struggling City firm to hire restructuring partner Simon Baskerville.

Latham’s hiring spree in London shows no signs of abetting, with Baskerville becoming the firm’s seventh City hire in 2016. He is the second high-profile partner this month to join Latham from Ashurst, which posted a 10% drop in revenue to £505m for 2015/16. The departure follows the US firm’s hire of financial regulation co-head Rob Moulton.

Baskerville, has more than 17 years’ experience at handling UK-based restructurings, has positioned himself over recent years as a leading lawyer handling special situations investments for asset managers, which is already a booming market as investors seek undervalued assets and Latham expects to grow post-Brexit. John Houghton, global co-chair of Latham’s restructuring, insolvency and workouts practice, said Baskerville ‘brings extensive experience in the alternative asset manager sector, which we expect to play an important role in the special situations which will undoubtedly arise in this uncertain post-Brexit market. We are delighted to welcome him to the firm’.

Baskerville made partner at Ashurst in 2009 and was called upon in 2014 by Punch Taverns, Britain’s second largest pub group, to restructure $2.3bn of debt. He joins a long list of recent Latham hires in London this year, with the likes of real estate finance partner Jeremy Trinder joining from Dechert, Quentin Gwyer joining from GE where he specialised in debt capital markets and rising international arbitration star Sophie Lamb joining from Debevoise & Plimpton.

For Ashurst, the loss of Baskerville comes as a blow, with high-profile partners such as equity capital markets specialist Jonathan Parry and financial regulatory lawyer James Perry leaving for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, disputes specialist Mark Clarke leaving for White & Case and corporate heavyweight Anthony Clare leaving for Stephenson Harwood.

‘Expanding our alternative asset manager coverage in London is a key strategic priority for us,’ said Dominic Newcomb, vice chair of Latham’s global finance department. ‘We see clients in this sector playing an increasingly significant role in our core leveraged finance work, and taking a growing share of primary lending transactions.’