The team departure includes US managing partner and finance partner Eugene Ferrer based in New York and global co-head of the securities and derivatives group, Scott Faga, based in Washington DC, alongside three counsel and four associates.
The exits come six years after Ashurst launched its US structured finance practice with the hire of a team of 12 finance partners in New York and Washington DC from McKee Nelson.
Ferrer focuses on securitisation and structured finance, with a particular emphasis on structured credit products and collateralised loan obligation (CLO) transactions, while Faga’s practice covers securitisation and structured finance. In 2014, both partners were involved in representing the arranger or collateral manager in over $25bn worth of US CLO issues.
The mass hire comes as Paul Hastings looks to boost its CLO and structured finance capability in the US, London and Hong Kong. The firm recently also recruited Ashurst leveraged finance partner Luke McDougall, and private investment funds partner Duncan Woollard in London, and two M&A and private equity partners in Hong Kong.
The US group exit is Ashurst’s second team departure this year, after Ashurst partners John McClenahan, Mark Davies and Chris Bailey in Tokyo, and Rupert Lewi from Perth left the firm last month to join King & Spalding in Tokyo as it launched its second base in Asia.
‘Scott and Eugene come to us with impressive clients and experience that will be complementary to our growing London securitisation group,’ said Charles Roberts, a London-based partner at Paul Hastings. ‘In particular, we have seen significant demand for securitisation regulatory expertise, including risk-retention advice, for securitisation transactions that are offered in both the US and Europe and believe the addition of this team will help us to capitalise on this need.’
A spokesperson for Ashurst commented: ‘Our US business has performed very strongly over recent years. Head of the US and senior CLO partner Bill Gray, and the other partners, have done a great job in delivering impressive results and helping to develop our offering. It is obviously disappointing when colleagues leave but this is largely a reflection of the highly competitive market for top talent and that is a challenge for both us and our competitors.
‘The US market is very mobile and we can attract talent given our transatlantic offering in the CLO space. We are fully committed to strengthening the business and we are currently speaking to a number of potential senior hires.’