02 Feb 2023

Cadwalader secures leveraged finance partner quartet in Charlotte from King & Spalding

Firm hails team's arrival as significant step in building out middle market leveraged finance and private credit practice

(l-r) Ronald Lovelace, Joseph Polonsky, Patrick Yingling and Jared Zajac Image courtesy of Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft

Wall Street firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft has hired a quartet of leveraged finance partners from King & Spalding in Charlotte, North Carolina, in a move that promises to significantly grow its market share in the leading US financial centre.

Ronald Lovelace has joined Cadwalader as head of leveraged finance alongside Patrick Yingling, Jared Zajac and Joseph Polonsky.  

Their hires follow Cadwalader adding King & Spalding’s head of restructuring, Mike Rupe, in New York last September and finance partner Matthew Smith and restructuring partner Bevis Metcalfe to its leveraged finance and private credit team in London last April from Baker McKenzie

Firm managing partner, Pat Quinn, noted the quartet’s hire represented another step – along with the addition of Rupe, Smith and Metcalfe – in building out a top notch middle market leveraged finance, private credit and special situations practice.

The new arrivals will work closely with the London team led by Smith and Metcalfe and expand Cadwalader's ability to provide counsel on creditor-side restructuring and special situations work in the US. The firm has more than 100 lawyers in Charlotte, one if its three offices in the US alongside New York and Washington DC. The firm already has established capital markets, corporate finance, litigation, fund finance and real estate finance practices in the city. 

“This is a home run for our lending practices,” added Wes Misson, Cadwalader’s finance group co-chair. “This group adds market-leading talent to key areas and expands our existing capabilities in, among other areas, asset based lending, warehouse finance and NAV lending. We know our clients will see immediate benefits associated with their arrival.”

Lovelace has joined Cadwalader after more than 12 years as a partner at King & Spalding, which he joined from Charlotte firm Moore & Van Allen. He focuses on leveraged finance and other syndicated lending transactions, with significant middle market acquisition finance and workout and special situations experience.

Meantime Yingling joined King & Spalding from Moore & Van Allen in 2010 alongside Lovelace and focuses on leveraged finance and other syndicated lending transactions. He advises on financing transactions, including syndicated credit facilities on both a leveraged and investment-grade basis, first lien/second lien arrangements, acquisition financings, recapitalisations and cross-border facilities.

Zajac represents clients in leveraged finance, acquisition financings, first and second lien financings, syndicated credit facilities, and debtor-in-possession (DIP) financings. He also has an extensive financial restructuring background, having spent a number of years at Proskauer Rose advising on bankruptcy and restructuring engagements before joining King & Spalding in 2018. 

Finally Polonsky works with companies on structuring complicated financings and debt and equity restructurings, including for first lien and second lien financings, asset-backed financings and DIP financings. He moved over to King & Spalding in 2018 as an associate from McGuire Woods and makes partner upon joining Cadwalader. 

“I’m thrilled to be reunited with my former colleagues,” said Rupe, who joined Cadwalader as head of special situations and restructurings. 

“The synergies of our practices offer our clients a legal skill set that covers leveraged finance, private credit, special situations and restructurings – a skill set only a few elite law firms possess. Simply put, this is an exceptional opportunity for Cadwalader, my former colleagues and our clients – wins all the way around,” he added.


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