King & Spalding adds four-partner finance team in London from Cadwalader

Fund finance and ESG partners make the move alongside team of associates

King & Spalding (K&S) is understood to have hired a highly rated four-partner finance team in London from US rival Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft.

The Cadwalader partners set to move over are fund finance trio Samantha Hutchinson, Nathan Parker and Mathan Navaratnam, and sustainable finance specialist Sukhvir Basran.  

Special counsel James Hoggett has also been signed up, according to a person familiar with the situation, and is slated to become a partner upon joining K&S. A number of associates are also said to be moving across with the partners.

K&S declined to comment on the moves while Cadwalader has released a statement underlining its commitment to expand its London arm and thanking “former colleagues” for their conribution and wishing them “success in all their future endeavours”.

The team promises to provide a major boost for K&S’s London office, which currently houses 76 lawyers, according to its website. It will also add London weight to the firm’s investment funds and asset management team, which lists 26 partners across its network prior to their arrival. 

Both Hutchinson and Parker are ranked for fund finance in London by Chambers and Partners which places K&S in Band One for Middle East investment funds advice and Band Four in Germany.

Hutchinson joined Cadwalader as a partner in 2018 from Dentons and advises lenders and private markets managers on a range of lending products. She is credited by Cadwalader as having advised on more than 50 new fund financings in the last 12 months, exceeding £15bn in value.

Parker spent eight years at Cadwalader, which he joined from Debevoise, becoming a partner in January 2020. Navaratnam, who was a colleague of Hutchinson at Dentons, joined Cadwalader as an associate in 2019 from Investec. He was made up to partner in January last year.

Basran, meanwhile, was co-head of Hogan Lovells’ sustainable finance and investment team before joining Cadwalader as a partner in January last year. 

The hires continue a busy period for K&S in London. In March, it signed up high-yield finance partner Peter Schwartz from Paul Hastings. Other hires this year in London, where the firm recently moved to new offices in 8 Bishopsgate, include employment partner Tessa Cranfield, who joined from Seyfath Shaw in January, and Sir Max Hill KC, who joined in February having previously served as director of public prosecutions

At the start of this month, however, K&S saw an 11-partner team led by the co-head of its global finance and restructuring practice, Jennifer Daly, exit for Paul Hastings in the US.

For Cadwalader, meanwhile, the departures will be a setback for its London office, which lists 70 lawyers, including those being snapped up by Atlanta-based K&S. 

In its statement the firm said: “We’re proud of our market-leading transatlantic fund finance practice, which has seen tremendous success and will continue to serve as the go-to team for sophisticated cross-border transactions. Fund finance is a key component of our robust, multi-practice team in London. For 30 years, we’ve built an exceptional group of attorneys and staff in the UK, and recently expanded our London office footprint to accommodate our continued growth.”

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