The Talent

August 4, 2010 11:16 AM

In Rare Move, Milbank Snags Five Latham Partners

Posted by Zach Lowe

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 cohead of Latham's banking practice group, according to Am Law Daily sibling publication the New York Law Journal.

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.

Those making the jump to Milbank include Marc Hanrahan, who cochaired Latham's banking practice and has a strong relationship with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and other major banks, the NYLJ says. Hanrahan and two of the other laterals, Ronan Wicks and Marcus Dougherty, lateraled to Latham in 2004 from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, the NYLJ says.

Wicks recently crossed paths with Milbank in the wrangling over the pending sale of Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers franchise. That deal has drawn the ire of creditors who insist that current Rangers owner Tom Hicks could get a better price for the team from a buyer other than the one he prefers to sell to. Wicks represented senior lenders to Hicks, including JPMorgan Chase, while Milbank represented an ad hoc group of creditors who were more adamant in their opposition to the proposed sale. (That sale has been held up as the Rangers franchise goes through bankruptcy proceedings in Texas; a key hearing in the case is scheduled for Wednesday.)

Milbank rarely makes splashy group lateral hires, the NYLJ says. The firm last dipped into the big-firm lateral market in March 2009, when it lured a key partner away from Munger, Tolles & Olson. Likewise, Latham is better known for gobbling up partner laterals rather than for losing them to other firms, the NYLJ says.

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