Alston & Bird adds structured finance partner to Bushell’s departure from Signature


City recruitment has clearly slowed in the past week, but Alston & Bird has managed to bolster its relatively new City branch while Signature Litigation partner Simon Bushell leaves the firm after three years.

Atlanta-based Alston & Bird has hired structured finance partner James Fisher from Reed Smith for its financial firm in London. He has experience advising fiduciary companies and agency clients on the full range of transactions, including securitizations and CDOs. He also focuses on post-closing matters such as restructurings, defaults, corrective actions and discretionary exercises.

Partner and co-head of the firm’s financial group, Shanell Cramer said Legal Affairs: ‘Our aim in London is to mirror our most successful practices in the United States. We have one of the largest corporate fiduciary teams in the United States and represent many of the most active corporate fiduciary departments. The addition of James in London allows us to extend the services we provide to our existing clients in the UK market as well as to extend the services to James’ clients in the US.

Alston & Bird opened its London office in September last year, hiring Andrew Petersen and James Spencer from K&L Gates and James Ash-Taylor from Constantine Cannon.

Meanwhile, veteran litigation specialist Simon Bushell is leaving Signature Litigation to set up his own boutique, Seladore Legal, with former Herbert Smith Freehills colleague Gareth Keillor.

Bushell joined Signature in 2017 from Latham & Watkins where he was chairman of its litigation department in London. He was also a partner at Herbert Smith Freehhills for 16 years before joining Latham. He specializes in civil litigation relating to fraud and asset tracing, investment banking litigation, breach of trust and fiduciary duty, professional negligence, money laundering and disputes between shareholders.

Elsewhere, DAC Beachcroft has added Ana Catalina Restrepo, insurance partner of Colombian firm Tamayo Jaramillo & Asociados, to its Bogota office.

Restrepo focuses on insurance litigation and arbitration, particularly on matters of liability, medical malpractice, financial lines and property and is also experienced in claims handling services.

Helen Faulkner, Head of Insurance, said, “Ana Catalina has an excellent reputation in the insurance and reinsurance markets and will be a real asset to our team in Colombia and to the business as a whole. We are the international law firm of choice for the global insurance industry and our strong presence in all the key insurance markets in which our clients choose to operate, including those in Latin America, is a key part of our strategy.

Finally, Willkie Farr & Gallagher has also added a structured finance partner in Europe, this time in Paris. Thomas Binet comes from the French powerhouse Gide Loyrette Nouel, where he has extensive experience in structured finance, debt restructuring and corporate finance. He regularly advises senior, mezzanine and unitranche lenders, borrowers, sponsors and arrangers in their financing and restructuring activities.

“Strengthening the team [in Paris] is part of our broader strategy of developing a leading European platform to advise our clients in the areas of financing, private equity, special situations and restructuring, which has grown with the recent additions of market-leading financial partners Ashley Young in London and Ralf Defren in Frankfurt,” added Eduardo Fernandez and Christophe Garaud, co-managers of Willkie’s Paris office.

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