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Senior Clyde & Co ship finance partner Matt Hannaford joins Curtis Davis Garrard with team of three

Senior maritime player Matt Hannaford is leaving Clyde & Co’s transportation finance group with a team of three to join specialist shipping boutique Curtis Davis Garrard (CDG).

The commercial shipping partner, who is particularly recognised for his work in ship finance and is co-author of one of the leading legal text books in the sector, will join CDG alongside legal director Owen McHugh, who will join CDG as a partner, as well as a consultant and associate who both join in their current roles.

Clifford Chance-trained, Hannaford joined Clyde’s transportation finance group in 1995 as a partner, and became a member of the top 15 UK firm’s operations board and the training principal for its recruitment services.

He represents international maritime clients on mergers and acquisitions, joint-ventures and pooling arrangements and more recently has been advising on debt finance restructurings, fleet enforcements and insolvency issues.

Confirming Hannaford’s departure, Clyde & Co added that it is actively recruiting partners to its ship finance team. In a statement the firm said: ‘Matt has been with Clyde & Co for nine years, has been a very popular member of the team and we are sad to see him go. We wish him every success with his new firm. We retain a strong team to service our clients’ ship finance needs and are actively recruiting further partners to it. We expect to make an announcement shortly.’

The hire comes as CDG also focuses on growing its ship finance practice – an area the firm has planned to develop since launching in London in February last year. Historically, the firm has focussed on the shipbuilding and offshore oil and gas sectors.

CDG senior partner Simon Curtis said: ‘We [CDG] came to London to grow our shipping finance practice based on increasing client demand. Matt is very well-known in the maritime industry. He comes from a commercial shipping and finance background, but has also done a lot of work on the private equity side.’