Legal Business Blogs

US/UK hires: Mayer Brown boosts London securitisation team as Herbert Smith hires New York financial services litigator

Mayer Brown is boosting its English law securitisation capability with the hire of former Mayer Brown lawyer Richard Todd, who re-joins the firm from Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) alongside Allen & Overy banking associate David O’Connor.

Todd will work on domestic and international structured financings alongside former colleague and head of the banking and finance division Dominic Griffiths, as well as senior securitisation partner Kevin Hawken.

Todd joins from BLP’s banking and capital markets department, where he has been since February last year. Prior to BLP, Todd worked as an in-house lawyer at Lloyds Banking Group from September 2010, where he was director of structured capital markets focussing primarily on providing legal support to the bank’s conduit securitisation areas.

Todd joins alongside Allen & Overy’s O’Connor, an ex-banker at Deutsche Bank. In his new role, O’Connor will be working closely with recently recruited Ashley Katz, Devi Shah and litigation partner Alistair Graham, who joined in January 2013, on CMBS restructurings.

Griffiths said: ‘We are a core adviser to a number of clients in the securitisation sector and for some time now we have been keen to further expand our English law team to meet client demand.’

While US firms progress in London is overshadowing City firms’ performance across the Atlantic, Herbert Smith Freehills also today (7 October) announced it has boosted its dispute resolution practice in New York with the hire of Cooley’s head of financial services litigation, Scott Balber. Balber will head the 2323-lawyer firm’s investigations and financial services litigation for the US and establish its corporate crime and investigations practice.

Scott also specialises in white collar defence, regulatory matters and securities and commercial litigation. Before Cooley, he was co-head of the commercial litigation practice at Chadbourne & Parke.

The hire comes as the firm focuses on expanding its global corporate crime practice across its network. It launched the New York office in September 2012 and the office also includes an international arbitration team led by Larry Shore and a litigation team led by Thomas Riley, which handles US and cross-border litigation for network clients.

Herbert Smith’s global disputes practice head Sonya Leydecker said: ‘Establishing an on the ground corporate crime and investigations capability in New York has been a cornerstone of our disputes US strategy. In Scott, we have found a perfect combination – a market-leading expert, who is also a dynamic business developer with an impressive track record of developing long-standing client relationships.’