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June 6, 2011 1:57 PM

Former Cleary Managing Partner Walker Joins Lazard

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

Following a 45-year career at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton that included a stint as the firm's managing partner, former Cleary banking partner Mark Walker has joined investment bank Lazard as a senior adviser.

The bank announced Walker's arrival Monday, noting in a press release that he will work in Lazard's sovereign advisory group, which is based in Paris and headed by Matthieu Pigasse. 

Walker joined Cleary in 1966, rose to partner in 1975, and served as the firm's managing partner from 2005 to 2010. During his time at the firm, Walker's practice focused on public and private sector international financing and transactions, with an emphasis on liability management and infrastructure projects. According to the firm's Web site, Walker advised clients on Latin American transactions, and also the governments of Mexico, Congo, and the Philippines on debt matters.

Walker, a Stanford University and Yale Law School graduate, also recently advised the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the U.S. Treasury on matters related to the financial crisis.

Walker was traveling Monday and not immediately available for comment. In a statement provided by Lazard, he said that he had "the great fortune" to work on complex sovereign and corporate matters around the world during his more than four decades with Cleary. 

Lazard's sovereign advisory team concentrates on advising governments and governmental agencies, especially those currently facing sovereign debt as a result of the worldwide financial crisis. The New York Times notes that Lazard has advised such countries as the Ivory Coast and Ecuador in the past, and has been hired by Greece to help with that country grapple with its debt problems.

Mark Leddy, Cleary's current managing partner, said in a statement that the firm is grateful for Walker's contributions over the course of his career. "We offer him our best wishes in his new position at Lazard and trust that he will remain in close touch with his many colleagues and friends here at the firm," Leddy said. 

In 2008, Lazard landed another high-profile lateral from the legal world when it hired Timothy Pohl--one of three coheads of the corporate restructuring group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Pohl joined Lazard as managing director of the investment bank's restructuring group.

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