Claire Hack reveals who
has moved where in asset finance law practices.
Top asset finance law teams
in the UK have been through a period of reorganisation, with
partners moving between practices as firms seek to reshape their
Hogan Lovells, Ince, Mayer
Brown and Shoosmiths are among those to have hired new lawyers,
including partners, to reflect the changing needs of their clients
who are finally starting to write more new business.
Hogan Lovells, formed by the
merger of Hogan & Hartson with Lovells in spring 2010, has
taken on former Linklaters partners Robert Fugard, a specialist in
aviation finance; and Simon Gwynne, who was ranked as the UK’s top
rail finance lawyer by Chambers 2010.
Hogan Lovells head of asset
finance Robin Hallam said: “The world may not know it, but it is
returning to growth and transportation and asset finance are very
much a part of that.
“Transportation is always
there: three years ago, the world went into meltdown and a huge
amount of bank restructuring went on, but not particularly in
Linklaters has treated asset
finance as part of its banking practice since 2006, reflecting
structural changes in the industry.
Linklaters banking partner
Olga Petrovic said: “The change is to focus more closely on main
banking and corporate clients.
“In terms of asset finance,
we are focusing primarily on our key banking relationships,
supporting them in asset finance.”
Meanwhile, UK firm Morton
Fraser has budgeted for a higher number of lawyers in the near
Head of asset finance Bruce
Wood said: “After a period when everybody was concentrating on
restructuring and litigation, we’re seeing more activity on the
“Things have been flourishing
in the legal market as a whole. While I wouldn’t say there was any
great expansion until recently, now things are growing
Wood added: “Asset finance
has gone from being the Cinderella of finance to being an important
part of banking.
“It has been flat throughout
the recessionary period in terms of hires, but we are now looking
at new hires.”
Addleshaw Goddard, another UK
firm, has, however, maintained a constant team.
Asset finance partner Andrew
Gaskill said: “The firm has managed to win several new clients
despite the challenging market conditions, and has secured mandates
for transactions involving the acquisition of equipment lease
“We have seen growth in the energy sector within asset
finance, working on a number of transactions over the past 12