Partners are on the move, and this time it’s major. Latham & Watkins is losing some serious firepower from its banking group, with the windfall going to Milbank. Am Law Daily reports:

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy made a rare venture into the U.S. lateral market Tuesday, announcing that it had lured five Latham & Watkins finance partners, including the co-head of Latham’s banking practice group….

Milbank chair Mel Immergut said the Latham hires will have “an enormously positive impact” on his firm’s leveraged finance practice, while the chair of Latham’s New York office released a statement wishing the partners well and assuring everyone that Latham retains “a very deep bench of talent” in New York, the NYLJ reports.

When banking partners are making major lateral moves, it’s got to be a good sign for the legal economy.

While Milbank was relatively restrained in its public comments to Am Law, the internal Milbank memo obtained by Above the Law shows that the firm is eager to crow about its new talent…

At Milbank, this will be a week full of popped collars:

We are very pleased to announce that Marc Hanrahan, Ronan Wicks, Marcus Dougherty, Patrick Flanagan and Lauren Hanrahan will join the Firm as partners in the Global Leveraged Finance Group, resident in New York. These five prominent attorneys were all previously with Latham & Watkins…

As the largest investment in lateral partners the Firm has ever undertaken, this initiative presents a unique opportunity to expand our traditionally strong banking and leveraged finance practices and enhance many other practice areas of the Firm including financial restructuring, litigation, securities and corporate.

Why make such a significant move into the lateral market? Milbank wouldn’t exactly say; the firm did not respond to our request for comment. But at the very least we can assume that Milbank feels pretty confident about the recovery of the American banking industry. Banking and leveraged products — back in the good old days, these were the kinds of practices that fueled the Biglaw boom.

So are happy days here again? Maybe at Milbank. And if these partners roll in and generate a ton of business, some of that money might trickle down to Milbank associates.

Good times. Congratulations to Milbank.

In Rare Move, Milbank Snags Five Latham Partners [Am Law Daily]


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