Dechert hires Weil's former head of restructuring and insolvency in London

Adam Plainer joins as co-head of US firm's global financial restructuring group

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Dechert has hired restructuring lawyer Adam Plainer from Weil Gotshal & Manges to co-chair its global financial restructuring group.

Plainer is set to join the firm’s London office, initially as a consultant pending regulatory clearance for partnership. He arrives from Weil, where he was head of restructuring and insolvency, bringing with him experience advising both debtors and creditors on complex cross-border workouts, restructurings, insolvencies and distressed M&A.

The move sees Plainer join a challenger practice in London from a top tier one, according to the Legal 500 directory: Weil Gotshal is ranked in band two while Dechert is in band seven. 

Andy Levander, Dechert’s chair, said: “Restructuring is a core and expanding practice for us globally. We have been building our team to meet growing client demand and Adam’s appointment will significantly enhance our capability to support our clients in their most challenging restructuring work.”

Plainer spent 10 years at Weil in London, having joined from Jones Day, where he spent just over eight years. During that time he was advised on a number of high-profile cases, including the collapsed US bank Lehman Brothers, the liquidation of Middle East private equity firm Abraaj Group and the restructuring of UK retailer BHS. 

Allan Brilliant, co-chair of Dechert’s global financial restructuring practice, said: “[Adam] is a strong strategic fit for us, and his arrival will be transformative for our presence in the European market.”

Plainter’s arrival follows Dechert's hiring of London-based financial restructuring partners Solomon Noh and Alastair Goldrein from Shearman & Sterling last February, although it had lost Paul Fleming to Addleshaw Goddard three months earlier.

Dechert is not the only US firm to be ramping up its European restructuring business. Earlier this month, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett hired a pair of experienced insolvency lawyers in London to establish its restructuring practice in the region. Partners Adam Gallagher and James Watson joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Kirkland & Ellis respectively.

US firms have also been busy shopping for Magic Circle talent more generally following a number of recent lateral hires in the UK. Earlier this month, Weil boosted its London private equity and M&A capabilities with the arrival of Slaughter & May partner Murray Cox, while back in December Simpson Thacher raided Allen & Overy for its antitrust global co-head Antonio Bavasso. The firm also landed Linklaters’ former head of tax Yash Rupal earlier in the year.

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