Biglaw, Lateral Moves, Musical Chairs, Partner Issues

Musical Chairs: Orrick Assembles an Impressive Team of Finance and High-Yield Lawyers

The law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe continues to do battle with its former client, MGA Entertainment. It seems that the maker of Bratz dolls is still acting in bratty fashion, by not paying its legal bills, and Orrick has moved to withdraw from representing MGA. (This is not the first time that Orrick has tried to fire its difficult client.)

Fortunately, things are happier on the transactional side for Orrick. The firm just announced that it’s picking up five bank finance and high-yield partners, for its New York office.

The new arrivals come from four different places, including three firms whose names you will definitely recognize….

Here’s the news, from the Orrick press release:

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP today announced the addition of five bank finance and high yield partners to its existing New York acquisition finance practice.

Joining the firm will be: Ronan M. Wicks and Patrick J. Flanagan, formerly partners at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP in New York; Bruce Czachor, formerly a partner at Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York: Julian S.H. Chung, formerly a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in New York; and Jason D. White, head of the leveraged and high grade finance and credit restructuring practices in the Americas for the legal department of Barclays Capital. The new partners will join Orrick’s acquisition finance practice group of which Ronan Wicks will now serve as global co-head.

Ronan Wicks and Patrick Flanagan have moved around quite a bit in recent years — perhaps a testament to the hotness of their practice. They joined Milbank a little over a year ago, as part of a group of five partners from Latham & Watkins. Prior to joining Latham in 2004, Wicks and Flanagan had been at Skadden Arps.

What do the new hires mean for Orrick?

The new Orrick partners routinely represent a cross section of major investment banks in sophisticated financing and restructuring transactions involving financial sponsors, leveraged corporates and investment grade companies. Representative clients have included Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Citibank, and Bank of America.

With over 1,200 lawyers across 23 offices and 8 countries, Orrick’s representation of financial institutions accounts for more than one-third of the firm’s total revenues. With this move, the firm adds a major acquisition finance capability to its leading financial institution practices in the areas of project finance, infrastructure finance, structured finance, public finance, capital markets, tax, and litigation.

In the current climate, law firms need to focus on a few key areas and excel in them. It sounds like Orrick is placing its chips on financial-institution work — probably a wise bet, given the importance of banks in today’s global economy.

Congratulations to Orrick on the high-powered additions to its team, and good luck to the five partners who get to take up residence in the firm’s awesome New York offices. Enjoy the Telepresence Room!

Orrick NY Office Adds Five Bank Finance and High Yield Partners from Milbank, Shearman, Cadwalader, and Barclays Capital [Orrick]
Orrick wants to fire MGA again over a second billing dispute [National Law Journal]
In Rare Move, Milbank Snags Five Latham Partners [Am Law Daily]

Earlier: Would You Rather Win, Or Get Paid While Losing?
Lawyerly Lairs: Orrick’s New Digs in New York

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