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Taking Manhattan: Freshfields hires Skadden Arps specialist in US leveraged finance boost

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has continued its recent push in the US with the hire of experienced Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom counsel David Almroth as a partner to boost its US finance practice.

Almroth is the second finance specialist to join Freshfields from Skadden Arps after former leveraged finance partner James Douglas joined having served the US firm for 25 years up until 2010.

Almroth joined Freshfields’ leveraged finance practice today (7 December) to complement its development of a transactional practice in the US. Since joining Skadden Arps in 1995, Almroth has advised on secured and unsecured financings, asset-based loans, bridge loans, first lien/second lien financings, corporate recapitalisations, and acquisition financings.

Some of his corporate clients have included Hayes Lemmerz International; Builders FirstSource; Duff & Phelps; and Fortress Investment Group; while his private equity clients have included JLL Partners; Access Industries; Marathon Asset Management, Oaktree Capital Management, MTS Health Partners, Veritas Capital and Doughty Hanson.

Douglas, who heads the firm’s US leveraged finance practice, said: ‘Dave is a first class lawyer and we all look forward to working with him. Adding Dave to our team clearly enhances our finance offering to complement our rapidly expanding transactional practice in the US. I have known Dave for many years and both personally and professionally he is a perfect fit for what we are building here in New York.’

Freshfields’ recruitment drive comes as the firm invested in a series of high-profile hires in the last 18 months to establish the firm’s first proper US footprint. In June, Freshfields took on Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s experienced corporate disputes specialist Linda Martin, which boosted the Magic Circle’s dispute capability in Manhattan.

This came after the firm saw the high-profile arrival of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson corporate trio Valerie Ford Jacob, Michael Lewitt and Paul Tropp; and Shearman & Sterling’s M&A veteran Peter Lyons arrival.

The strategic recruitment in US law began after the firm made provisions to allow it to pay a small band of recruits over the top of its lockstep.

For more on Freshfields US play, see The last champions – meet the leaders intent on sealing Freshfields’ place in the global elite (£)