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Senior appointments: A&O names Muzilla as US corporate finance head after Wickenden steps down

Allen & Overy (A&O) head of US corporate finance Jim Wickenden has left the firm, leading to the appointment of high-yield partner Kevin Muzilla as the new head.

Wickenden leaves the Magic Circle firm after just three years, having joined in April 2012 as a corporate finance partner. He relocated from London to Hong Kong as head of US securities in November 2013, bolstering the firm’s presence in the region, following the departure of one of A&O’s most senior US partners in Asia, James Grandolfo, for Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. Wickenden moved back to London after only eight months in June 2014 as the firm’s head of US corporate finance.

Before A&O, Wickenden was at Herbert Smith for 13 years where his last role was global head of capital markets. Prior to this, he headed the EMEA legal and compliance department at JP Morgan, and was an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in both its London and New York offices.

Muzilla, who is head of the firm’s European high-yield practice, joined A&O from Milbank in 2009 after being made partner in 2000. His new role went it to effect last month after Wickenden retired from the firm.

Other significant retirees from the firm include City-based real estate finance partner Mark O’Neill who officially retired last year having joined the firm in 1991. He became a partner in the banking department in 1995 and during his time at A&O, O’Neill headed the property finance group.

Another partner who also quit the firm last month was corporate partner David Wilkie, who specialises in infrastructure and real estate, to return to his former Australian firm Clayton Utz in Sydney, after leaving in 2010 to join the Magic Circle firm.

A&O said in a statement: ‘We thank Jim, Mark and David for their contribution and wish the best of luck for the future.’