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One up, one out: Simmons promotes finance partner as it loses another to Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs has hired Simmons & Simmons‘ acquisition finance partner John Hayward as it sets out to expand its roster of banking and private equity clients. Meanwhile, Simmons made a New Year promotion to its partnership.

Hayward, who took a five-partner banking team to Simmons & Simmons from Berwin Leighton Paisner in 2011, has been tasked with securing bank loan mandates as liquidity in the European finance market picks up. Hayward was head of leveraged finance at BLP for the eight years leading up to his exit and held client relationships with Barclays Bank, HSBC, Lloyds Bank and The Royal Bank of Scotland.

Since 2008, Hayward has taken on an increasing amount of real estate finance. An influx of investment in the London real estate market, with Middle Eastern and Asian investment groups spending billions of pounds to acquire prime property, means he can expect to pick up work from Squire Patton Boggs’ eight-partner real estate team in London. The firm believes one of the benefits of its merger last year will come from legacy Squire Sanders’ European real estate team and Patton Boggs’ strong funds group in the Middle East.

Jim Barresi, global head of Squire Patton Boggs’ financial services group, said: ‘Financial Services is an area of strategic investment and expansion for our firm globally as we build our capabilities to meet the needs of a sophisticated, much valued and ever-increasing client-base. With John Hayward in London we are opening up valuable new opportunities in the UK domestic market and also for our clients located in the Middle East and elsewhere.’

Squire Patton Boggs hired three finance partners in London last year, hiring asset finance specialist Paula Laird from Wragge & Co, structured finance partner Mark Thomas from Addleshaw Goddard, and debt capital market specialist Tom Cerdan from White & Case, where he was a senior associate.

Andrew Knight, EMEA chief, added: ‘John’s appointment is the latest in an ongoing programme of growth and lateral hiring for our practice.’

It is a case of one in, one out for Simmons & Simmons, which made a surprise promotion earlier this month with the election of finance lawyer Matthew Pitman to the partnership in London. He specialises in investment funds, in particular private funds.