Akin Gump loses restructuring partner to Gleiss Lutz in London
German firm opened its doors in London back in November to take on more antitrust litigation work and EU law-related instructions
German independent Gleiss Lutz has hired a partner from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in London to beef up its restructuring practice.
Christian Halász joins the Stuttgart-headquartered firm after seven years with Akin Gump, where he was a partner in the firm’s financial restructuring and distressed assets practice in London and Frankfurt.
In his new role at Gleiss Lutz, Halász will primarily work out of the firm’s London office, which opened its doors back in November as the firm looked to better position itself to take on antitrust litigation work and EU law-related instructions. Halász will also spend time advising clients in Frankfurt, the firm said.
He will be joining Gleiss Lutz’s former senior partner Wolfgang Bosch, who relocated from Frankfurt to London to spearhead the office launch last month. The office currently consists of a ‘core team’ of six transactions, restructuring and antitrust partners with other partners expected to work in the City as required.
The firm said Halász’s hire plays into its broader international strategy, which is focused on building out its finance and restructuring practices to better serve investment fund clients, many of which are based in London.
Michael Arnold, Gleiss Lutz’s co-managing partner, said Halász’s “long-standing experience will greatly benefit the new London office” particularly by strengthening the firm’s ties with international funds and distressed debt investors.
Halász said his “close connection” with Akin Gump’s restructuring teams in London and New York meant his decision to leave wasn’t an easy one.
“I am leaving my previous firm in a spirit of friendship and hope to be working with my colleagues in the future. At the same time, I do look forward to contributing my expertise towards the future development of Gleiss Lutz's restructuring practice and above all to the challenge of establishing the newly opened London office in the marketplace,” he said.
Halász worked for Bingham McCutchen in London before landing at Akin Gump in 2014. He began his career at Smeets Haas Wolff in 2004 and later spent time working at Paul Hastings as a senior associate between 2008 and 2010, according to his Linkedin profile.
A spokeperson for Akin Gump thanked Halász for his contributions to the firm and wished him the best in his new role.
"The firm, and particularly the financial restructuring team, looks forward to working together with Christian and Gleiss Lutz in the future," the spokeperson said.
Gleiss Lutz became the third major German independent law firm to set up shop in London, following Noerr in 2010 and Hengeler Mueller in 2007. Founded in 1949, the firm currently also boasts six offices in Germany and one in Brussels, which opened back in 1962.
Halász’s departure from Akin Gump follows that of George Cannon, head of the firm’s energy regulation, markets and enforcement practice, for Allen & Overy last week in Washington DC. Cannon’s move saw him reunite with a with a 21-strong project finance and renewables team from Akin Gump that jumped to the Magic Circle firm last March to set up an office in Los Angeles.
Going the other way, Akin Gump added partner Naboth van den Broek from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr last September to bolster its international trade practice and beefed up its investment funds practice in New York last July with the addition of Baker Botts’ New York office head Terence Rozier-Byrd.