London and Frankfurt Offices of Bingham McCutchen to Join Akin Gump

Group of partners will also join in Hong Kong. Addition will combine Bingham’s top-ranked European and Asian financial restructuring practice with Akin Gump’s market-leading U.S. financial restructuring practice

  • Once completed, move expected to make Akin Gump’s London office among the top 20 international firms in London by turnover and dramatically enhance firm’s global platform.
  • In addition to financial restructuring, move will bring significant corporate, finance, litigation, regulatory, tax and antitrust experience to Akin Gump, adding strength and depth to the firm’s capabilities across Europe and Asia.

(London) – International law firm Akin Gump today announces that the London and Frankfurt offices of Bingham McCutchen, along with a group of partners from Bingham’s Hong Kong office, will join the firm. With this 22-partner expansion, Akin Gump will grow its London and Hong Kong offices markedly and will also open the firm’s first office in Germany. The move will be effective over the coming weeks.

The move will bring together Akin Gump’s financial restructuring practice in the United States, led by partners Daniel Golden, Ira Dizengoff, Fred Hodara and Mike Stamer, with the London-based leaders of Bingham’s financial restructuring group, partners James Roome, Barry Russell and James Terry. The combination cements Akin Gump’s reputation as the home of a top-tier global financial restructuring practice and adds substantial depth to the firm’s corporate, finance, disputes, regulatory and tax practices while significantly increasing the firm’s international footprint.

The firm further expects to welcome a number of additional attorneys from Bingham soon in London, Hong Kong and Frankfurt.

“This will be transformative in enhancing our brand as a leading global firm,” commented Kim Koopersmith, Akin Gump’s chairperson. “The attorneys joining us are hugely respected for their strength in areas that are key to our firm and clients, including financial restructuring, finance, disputes, tax, regulatory and corporate, and will build upon our own very strong teams in these and other areas. This move also helps us diversify into key areas across Europe and Asia and highlights our commitment to clients in these crucial markets. It is exceedingly rare to be able to welcome a group that has the stature and incredible fit presented by this group. They truly are the dream team, and I could not be more excited to introduce them to our clients.”

Bingham’s financial restructuring practice is ranked in the top tier by Legal 500, Chambers UK and IFLR 1000 and is recognized as “the premier noteholder practice in the market” (UK Legal 500). In addition to financial restructuring, the attorneys expected to join Akin Gump bring tremendous experience in finance and financial services, financial and commercial dispute resolution, corporate M&A and private equity, EU/UK competition and tax.

Sebastian Rice, who will be managing partner of Akin Gump’s London office, commented, “The synergies of our combined international practices, together with the incoming team’s strength in London, make this union strategically compelling. The combined European and Asian capabilities will not only considerably improve our client offerings in multiple jurisdictions, but also provide significant leverage in terms of our ability to present ourselves to potential clients here in London, in Hong Kong and in established and emerging markets across the globe.”

James Roome, who will be senior partner in London, commented, “We are delighted to join Akin Gump. Our financial restructuring team has, for many years, admired their stellar practice in the United States, which represents many of the same clients that we do. The combination of our practices in London, Hong Kong and Frankfurt with Akin Gump’s financial restructuring team in the United States and excellent energy, telecoms and investment funds practices in Europe and Asia will be a major step forward for our team. We are all thrilled to be part of this once-in-a-career opportunity.”

Daniel Golden added, “We have known and closely watched, over many years, how James, Barry and James built the leading noteholder practice in Europe and were struck by how the development of their practice mirrored that of our own. Often during that time, our team talked about the dynamic of a possible combination of these practice groups. Now, that talk is becoming reality, and we are thrilled about what is in store for us, our firm and our clients.”

About the team

The team joining Akin Gump has leading financial restructuring, finance, litigation and corporate lawyers committed to, and experienced in, providing a seamless and responsive service to international financial institution clients.

The financial restructuring team has played a leading role representing creditors in numerous high-profile, precedent-setting workouts and restructurings throughout Europe and Asia. In recent years, the team has advised the bondholders of the Icelandic banks Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbanki since the banks’ failure in 2008, the bondholders of Suntech on recoveries from the bankruptcy of one of China’s largest solar panel makers, and the creditors of Quinn Group in Ireland, the lenders to France’s Terreal and the senior lenders to Kloeckner Pentaplast in Germany on their respective debt restructurings. They combine with a financial restructuring team from Akin Gump that, in the past year, has represented clients in prominent U.S. matters, including the official committee of unsecured creditors of Edison Mission Energy, the ad hoc group of noteholders and second lien indenture trustee of Eastman Kodak Company and the ad hoc committee of unsecured noteholders of Energy Future Intermediate Holdings, among many others.

Upon their arrival, the expanded finance team will advise clients in relation to innovative financings across a range of asset classes and financing sources. The team represents institutional investors, funds, corporate borrowers and issuers, sponsors and developers, lenders and underwriters in their financing activities in the cross-border private placement, loan, debt, equity, capital and investment markets.

The enhanced corporate practice in London, Hong Kong and Germany will advise on high-end corporate work, including public/private M&A and takeovers, international equity capital markets, including for companies in emerging markets, and the listing of financial vehicles on London’s stock exchanges. This practice will be boosted considerably by the expected arrival of Bingham’s well-respected London UK/EU competition practice and the firm’s tax professionals.

The incoming group’s financial dispute resolution practice will continue to represent European and U.S.-based financial institution clients, including investment banks, hedge funds and investment management companies, with incisive, commercial advice. This will complement Akin Gump’s established European dispute resolution team, which advises clients in relation to international arbitration, litigation or proceedings in multiple jurisdictions, with particular reference to matters involving oil and gas, power generation and telecommunications. In addition, the newly combined team will provide extensive financial regulatory advice.

Partners who will join Akin Gump and their respective locations are as follows (LO – London; FF – Frankfurt; HK – Hong Kong):

Angeli Arora (LO - corporate)

Tom Bannister (LO – financial restructuring)

John Clark (LO - finance)

Mark Dawkins (LO - litigation)

Neil Devaney (LO – financial restructuring)

Davina Garrod (LO - antitrust)

Dr. Christian Halász (LO and FF – financial restructuring)

Richard Hornshaw (LO - litigation)

Christopher Leonard (LO – financial regulatory)

Mark Mansell (LO – finance)
Helen Marshall (LO – financial regulatory)

Naomi Moore (HK – financial restructuring)

Liz Osborne (LO – financial restructuring)

Stephen Peppiatt (LO - finance)

Charles Rogers (HK - corporate)

James Roome (LO – financial restructuring)

Barry G. Russell (LO – financial restructuring)

Emma Simmonds (LO – financial restructuring)

Stuart Sinclair (LO - tax)

Sarah Smith (LO - finance)

James Terry (LO – financial restructuring)

Dr. Axel Vogelmann (FF – financial restructuring)

 

About Akin Gump in London and Hong Kong

Akin Gump’s London office is the focal point for the firm’s international practice. The core strengths on which the office is founded are corporate transactions (including M&A, joint ventures and private equity) in emerging markets, debt and equity capital markets, energy, finance, investment funds (hedge and private equity), disputes and tax. The integrated nature of the practice means that the lawyers based in London work closely on a regular basis with their counterparts in the firm’s other international practices as well as those in the firm’s U.S. offices.

The firm’s Hong Kong office operates in association with Gregory D. Puff & Co and offers legal services and counsel to U.S. and international clients with interests in China and greater Asia. The office serves both Chinese clients seeking international representation and U.S. and international clients interested in initiating or expanding enterprises in China or elsewhere in Asia. Lawyers in the office have broad and deep experience counseling Asian and other international clients in private and public M&A, funds formation and joint ventures, focusing on pan-Asian M&A and private equity and hedge fund formation.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 attorneys in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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