14 Jul 2022

Linklaters adds two structured finance partners from Alston & Bird in New York

Joseph Gambino and Peter Williams bring CLO expertise to the magic circle firm’s capital markets practice

Peter Williams (l) and Joe Gambino Images courtesy of Linklaters

Linklaters has hired two structured finance partners in New York from Alston & Bird to bolster its US capital markets practice.

The duo, Joseph Gambino and Peter Williams, are joined by senior associate Elizabeth Walker. Both new partners' practices focus on structured credit deals, with a particular emphasis on collateralised loan obligations (CLOs). They regularly advise financial institutions on regulatory issues related to CLOs and other structured products and derivatives. 

Gambino joins after just over a year-and-a-half as a partner at Alston & Bird, which he joined from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, where he was special counsel for almost four years. Prior to his latest spell in private practice, Gambino worked in sales and trading at Stifel Financial Corp, FSI Capital and Merrill Lynch. 

Williams also joins after just over 18 months at Alston & Bird and more than 17 years at Cadwalader before that, where, like Gambino, he was special counsel. Prior to his career in private practice, Williams was an equity trader at Fidelity Investments. Walker also worked with Gambino and Williams at Alston & Bird and Cadwalader.

Hwang Hwa Sim, Linklaters’ global head of capital markets, said the pair's "broad deal experience and deep background in CLOs adds immense value to our platform”.

The duo are the latest US partner hires for the magic circle firm, having last month signed up regulatory partner Donald Waack from Morgan Lewis & Bockius in Washington DC and employment partner Andrew Gaines from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison in New York. 

However, the firm also lost New York-based privacy and cybersecurity partner Erez Liebermann to Debevoise & Plimpton in late June – a little more than a year after unveiling his hire  – and in February M&A partners Peter Cohen-Millstein and Megan Ridley-Kaye departed for Anglo-US rival Hogan Lovells. 

While all four UK Magic Circle firms with large international networks have US expansion high up on their agendas – and have long since adapted their partner pay systems to allow for big ticket hires stateside – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Allen & Overy have been making most of the running over the last two years.

In 2020, Freshfields opened a Silicon Valley office after hiring five partners from four US rivals and has also notably hired two M&A partners in New York from Wall Street leader Cravath Swaine & Moore in the past year.

Since the start of last year, Allen & Overy has opened offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and, most recently, Boston, following the hire of a highly rated five-partner life sciences IP litigation team from Goodwin Procter.

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