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22 June 2020

Latham & Watkins hires restructuring partner from Willkie Farr & Gallagher in Paris

Arrival of Alexandra Bigot follows on from insolvency lateral hires in London and New York

By Ben Edwards

Alexandra Bigot

Alexandra Bigot: Latham is 'very focused' on creating a top-tier Paris restructuring capability

Latham & Watkins has hired partner Alexandra Bigot from Willkie Farr & Gallagher in Paris to bolster its restructuring and special situations practice.

Bigot is the latest in a trio of hires to grow Latham’s global restructuring practice, following Jessica Walker’s arrival from Mayer Brown this month and Suzzanne Uhland’s arrival from O’Melveny & Myers in April. Bigot will be based in Paris, with Walker in London and Uhland in New York.

However, a restructuring partner has also left Latham this month, with Andrew Parlen joining Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison in New York.  

Olivia Rauch-Ravise, managing partner of Latham's Paris office, said Bigot had "a terrific track record advising on complex domestic and cross-border restructuring transactions" and would "play a key role in the continued expansion of this strategically important growth practice in Paris".

Bigot had two spells at Willkie Farr & Gallagher spread over more than two decades — first as an associate covering tax and corporate law between 1991 and 1999 and then later from 2003 as a partner in the firm’s restructuring practice. She also spent almost four years working as an investment director at Fonds Partenaires-Gestion, Lazard Bank’s French private equity house.

Simon Baskerville, global vice chair of the firm’s restructuring and special situations practice, said: “Alexandra is a first-rate lawyer who brings a wealth of experience acting for private equity firms, credit funds, distressed investors, and debtors to our market leading team in Europe. With her arrival, we will significantly enhance and broaden our existing practice, so that we can strengthen and add to our existing client relationships.”

Bigot’s specialism is in business reorganisation and restructuring, and distressed leveraged buyouts.

Xavier Farde, a partner in Latham’s Paris office, who studied with Bigot 30 years ago at HEC Paris business school, said: “Alexandra is one of the elite practitioners in France and her arrival marks a major milestone for the firm in Europe. We are very focused on establishing a top-tier restructuring capability to complement our existing strengths in M&A, private equity, capital markets, and finance in Paris, and Alexandra’s experience has a lot of synergy with our practice.”

Meanwhile, Parlen’s departure in New York comes just two years after he joined Latham from O’Melveny; during his time at Latham he advised on the chapter 11 reorganisations of resins producer Hexion and paper and printing specialist Verso Corporation.

Recent months have seen a flurry of insolvency lateral partner hires as law firms position themselves to take advantage of an anticipated increase in work as a result of Covid-19.

In May, K&L Gates hired a three-partner team of restructuring lawyers in Frankfurt from Bernsau Brockdorff & Partner and Clifford Chance hired Hogan Lovells partner Shaun Langhorne in Singapore.

And in March, Greenberg Traurig took on Baker McKenzie’s London-based global co-head of restructuring and insolvency, Ian Jack, in preparation for an “unprecedented period of disruption” for law firms and businesses.

In the first quarter of 2020, Latham went on a corporate partner lateral hiring spree that saw it secure seven hires across the US, the UK and Spain.

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