Weil adds to banking practice with Baker McKenzie infrastructure specialist Hibbert

Weil, Gotshal & Manges confirmed today (19 April) that it has hired infrastructure and real estate finance partner Paul Hibbert from Baker McKenzie, as the US firm continues to ramp up its finance coverage in the City.

Hibbert (pictured) covers leveraged finance, structured finance, real estate finance and general corporate banking, with a particular focus on advising both sponsors and lenders on financings of real assets.

He will work closely with private equity (PE) partner James MacArthur, who quit to join the US firm from Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) last May, and funds partners Ed Gander and James Sargent, to further Weil’s push into real assets.

Hibbert joined Bakers as a partner in 2013 from Clifford Chance, where he was an associate for eight years. Macarthur was HSF’s London head of PE when he joined Weil last year. His hire was a blow to HSF, as firms are increasing investment in this area.

Last month, following its loss of a seven-partner City team, Kirkland & Ellis hired Munich-based corporate partner Volkmar Bruckner from Weil. Kirkland also took on Weil’s banking head Stephen Lucas back in 2014.

Meanwhile, earlier this year Bakers took on a team of seven lawyers, including private equity and employment partners Will Holder and Carl Richards, from King & Wood Mallesons’ (KWM) European partnership following its collapse. Holder had previously been head of KWM’s China Group and spent ten months seconded to Chinese offices.

In 2015, Bakers also lost star litigator Tom Cassels to Linklaters, after the firm’s New York litigation head Douglas Tween had also moved to Linklaters the week before. Also in 2015, Proskauer hired one of Bakers’ highest City earners, EMEA co-head of private equity Bruno Bertrand-Delfau.

Impressing with a significant hike last year, Weil’s global financials showed a revenue jump of 9% to $1.27bn with PEP increasing by more than 22% to $3.1m, while Bakers’ London office has seen its revenue jump by more than 20% in the firm’s latest LLP accounts, with turnover up to £176m in 2016 from £145.2m the previous year.

georgiana.tudor@legalease.co.uk

Read more about US firm banking teams in: ‘To the hilt – Meet the US firms going all in to dominate the City’s leveraged finance scene’