Freshfields makes twin partner hire in New York from Kirkland, Davis Polk

Arrivals include M&A partner Joshua Ayal and capital markets partner Jacqueline Marino

Joshua Ayal and Jacqueline Marino Images courtesy of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

UK Magic Circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has made a double partner hire in New York as the firm seeks to bolster its US footprint.

The new arrivals include M&A partner Joshua Ayal and capital markets partner Jacqueline Marino who join from Kirkland & Ellis and Davis Polk & Wardwell respectively. 

Ayal specialises in public and private M&A deals for both corporate and private equity clients. He also advises companies and their directors on activist defence and governance matters. Marino, meantime, focuses on advising issuers and underwriters across a range of capital market transactions, including IPOs, debt financings, private placements and liability management deals. She also counsels on SEC compliance and disclosure matters spanning a range of industries.

Damien Zoubek, co-head of Freshfields’ US corporate and M&A teams, said: “I’ve had the opportunity to work both alongside and opposite Josh, and have seen first-hand both his technical ability and his incredible commitment to client service. Josh is a great addition to our expanding market-leading M&A team and we are thrilled that he has joined us.”

Ayal spent just over three years at Kirkland & Ellis, having previously been an associate at Cravath Swaine & Moore for more than six years.

He said: “Freshfields is making an impressive and noticeable impact in the US M&A market and I’m excited to be joining this team of talented lawyers.”

Ayal and Marino are the latest partners to join Freshfields’ US M&A and capital markets teams, following the arrivals of Silicon Valley-based Denny Kwon in April from Covington & Burling and New York-based Sanjay Murti and Steven Li in January from Cravath and Kirkland respectively.

Sarah Solum, US managing partner and US head of capital markets, said: “Jackie is an exceptional capital markets lawyer with an extremely impressive deal sheet that includes some of the largest and highest profile IPOs in recent memory. The breadth of her experience across equity and debt transactions will be of great value to our clients, whether they are looking to go public or have been public for decades.”

Marino arrives after almost eight years at Davis Polk, the past year as counsel. Prior to starting her legal career she spent three years as an analyst at Goldman Sachs before interning in the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s legal department.

Pamela Marcogliese, a New York-based capital markets partner, said: “Jackie is an amazing addition to our capital markets team. Not only does she have an outstanding track record in service to her clients, but she also embodies the strong leadership skills that have led to her recognition as a rising star.”

Last month, Magic Circle rival Clifford Chance underlined its US ambitions with a double partner hire from Shearman & Sterling and White & Case. Also in May, Allen & Overy completed its transatlantic merger with Shearman to become A&O Shearman.

Email your news and story ideas to: [email protected]