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Partner moves: Morgan Lewis and Ashurst make hires in London and New York

US firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius continues its firm wide hiring spree with Covington & Burling corporate partner Simon Currie being the latest to join the firm’s City ranks. Meanwhile Ashurst is continuing efforts to bulk up its New York collateralised loan obligations (CLO) practice with the hire of partner Lawrence Berkovich from Mayer Brown.

Currie will join Morgan Lewis’ London investment management team and will strengthen the firm’s services to clients across the continent, as well as in the US, the Middle East, and Asia. Currie has experience of representing financial sector clients on investment funds and financial services regulatory matters.

Morgan Lewis investment management head Louis Singer said: ‘Simon is a leader in advising clients on the management and operation of private equity funds and he has counselled numerous private equity funds on the development of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive throughout the EU legislative process. That experience and his background in successfully representing clients before the EU legislative bodies and the UK Treasury on issues of concern to them make him an ideal addition to our London team.’

Separately, Ashurst’s finance practice, which suffered a mass-partner exit earlier this year, is rebuilding, with Berkovich joining from Mayer Brown where he helped build the firm’s CLO practice.

Berkovich specialises in complex structured finance transactions, with a particular focus on broadly syndicated and middle-market CLOs, first mortgage and mezzanine commercial real estate loan securitisations and rated and unrated leveraged loan and commercial real estate loan warehouse facilities.

Ashurst US head William Gray said: ‘Larry’s appointment is an important further expansion of the firm’s CLO team, and will go a long way to further strengthening our banking/arranger CLO client base. In addition, his experience in the private equity, M&A and real estate sectors will help us to deliver significant assistance to network clients that need US expertise in these areas.’

The hire comes after Ashurst recently expanded its structured finance team in New York and Washington DC after Scott Pierpont joined from Jones Day and Lee Ann Anderson moved from Sullivan & Cromwell in October.

This followed Ashurst’s recruitment of former UBS Securities managing director Eric Bothwell to boost the CLO practice in July.

The firm said it was ‘determined to rebuild’ after US managing partner and finance partner Eugene Ferrer and global co-head of the securities and derivatives group, Scott Faga, alongside three counsel and four associates, left the firm for Paul Hastings.