Mayer Brown is in advanced talks with several firms in London to significantly increase its capital markets and corporate practice groups in the area, according to published reports.
The U.S. firm is reportedly meeting with a leveraged finance team from Allen & Overy (A&O), as well as a group of about 10 capital markets partners from
White & Case.
Mayer Brown recently lost former co-vice-president Paul Maher. This move shifted the seat of power back to Chicago from London and into the hands of Chicago partner Bert Kreuger, who has taken over the role of firm chairman. Vice-Chairman Ken Geller has been named managing partner from his base in Washington, DC.
The decision to augment the London practice comes right after published reports indicated that A&O was looking at reducing its leveraged finance teams after the economic downturn resulted in dramatically reduced workflow in that area of practice.
 “We’re dedicated to London and in no way retreating back to Chicago. The talks are at various stages, but we expect some decision in the next few months,” published reports quoted a Mayer Brown London partner as saying.
Meanwhile, London Senior Partner Sean Connolly was quoted as saying, “As part of our existing business strategy we’ll continue to seek to strengthen our London platform through key strategic lateral hires. It remains our intention to make a number of hires in the corporate and finance practice areas and we also firmly believe that the current legal market conditions give us a great opportunity to attract some outstanding new talent to the firm.”

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