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Milbank continues City hiring spree with Shearman high yield guru Gkoutzinis as Vinson nabs Jones Day finance partner

High-yield specialist Apostolos Gkoutzinis is to join Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy from US rival Shearman & Sterling, a move which marks the firm’s fifth hire in the space of a week.

The recruitment of Gkoutzinis, Shearman’s head of European capital markets, is another sign of Milbank’s ambitions to make its mark in City finance, coming just days after it secured a four-partner restructuring team from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft.

That move – which included Cadwaladers’ global financial restructuring co-chair Yushan Ng, and partners Jacqueline Ingram, Karen McMaster and Sinjini Saha – was a significant boost to Milbank’s City finance team, which counts among its clients Oaktree, KKR, Centerbridge Capital Partners and Blackstone.

Gkoutzinis (pictured) was made up to partner in Shearman’s European capital markets group in 2011 having joined the firm in 2005 as an associate.

He specialises in US federal securities law, high-yield debt offerings and general debt and equity capital markets transactions across leveraged finance, SEC-registered offerings, restructurings, recapitalisations and privatisations. Since 2005, Gkoutzinis has acted on the majority of IPO and high-yield bond transactions in the Greek market brought about the country’s sovereign debt crisis.

In another key City move by a US firm, Vinson & Elkins (V&E) has added Jones Day acquisition and leveraged finance partner Paul Simcock to its London finance bench. The move follows V&E’s hire last year of Clifford Chance finance partner John Dawson.

Simcock joined Jones Day in 2014 having previously been a partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner. He was previously counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom for seven years after training at Allen & Overy.

He has acted for private equity sponsors, alternative credit providers, banks and corporations across a range of debt restructurings, distressed transactions, refinancings and other syndicated and bilateral lending projects. Recent mandates have included advising L1 Retail, the retail investment arm of LetterOne, on the £900m senior financing underpinning the acquisition of heath retailer Holland & Barrett from The Nature’s Bounty Co. and The Carlyle Group.

He has also advised Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund II (MEIF II) on deals including the refinancing and sale of National Car Parks group (NCP) and the refinancing of Condor Ferries Group, an operator of passenger and freight ferry services.

‘Our corporate team has been growing rapidly, and with the addition of another top-tier hire, we’re positioned to push even further into one of the leading finance capitals of the world,’ said London-based Jeff Eldredge, co-head of V&E’s corporate department.

‘Paul is an extremely accomplished lawyer whose strong relationships and energetic approach to client service are exactly what we look for at V&E’, Eldredge added.

For more on Apostolos Gkoutzinis’ career, read ‘Life during law: Apostolos Gkoutzinis, Shearman & Sterling’