Linklaters and Clifford Chance eye US growth with lateral partner hires

Linklaters grows financial regulatory team in Washington while CC boosts its New York funds bench
Vadim Avdeychik and Donald Waack headshots

Vadim Avdeychik (l) and Donald Waack Images courtesy of Linkalters and Clifford Chance

Magic Circle UK firms Linklaters and Clifford Chance have both made senior lateral hires from US rivals as they seek to grow their North American coverage.

Linklaters has hired regulatory partner Donald Waack in Washington DC from Morgan Lewis & Bockius, while Clifford Chance has secured Paul Hastings funds counsel Vadim Avdeychik in New York. Waack joins Linklaters’ US financial regulation group and Avdeychik joins as a partner in Clifford Chance’s funds and investment management team.

Waack’s practice focuses on advising US and non-US financial institutions on regulatory, transactional and enforcement matters including regulatory control determinations, investment authority issues and governance, among other areas. 

Peter Bevan, head of Linklaters’ financial regulation group, said: “Don’s bank regulatory expertise will be invaluable as we guide international clients through an increasingly complex US regulatory landscape. His in-depth knowledge of US financial regulations and their impact on both domestic and non-US financial services firms will complement our existing global financial regulatory, derivatives and funds practices.”

Waack arrives at Linklaters after two-and-a-half years at Morgan Lewis & Bockius and more than 11 years at Mayer Brown before that, making partner in 2016. 

Tom McGrath, head of Linklaters’ US global practice, said: “[Waack’s] arrival enhances our ability to provide multidisciplinary solutions to our clients in a rapidly changing regulatory environment. His deep experience, strong relationships and market knowledge will integrate seamlessly with our US platform.”

Avdeychik, meantime, focuses his practice on registered funds, business development companies (BDCs) and other speciality finance and regulatory mandates.

Cliff Cone, co-head of the US funds and investment management practice at Clifford Chance, said: “We are continuing to see evolution in the asset management space: traditional notions of the types of strategies and funds a private equity, hedge fund or alternative asset manager may deploy have been reimagined and redefined and the pace of creativity around the use of registered funds, particularly closed-end, interval structures and BDCs, has accelerated.”

Cone noted Avdeychik’s experience advising on these products, as well as ESG and other regulatory considerations, was a key reason for his hiring.

Avdeychik joins after more than six years as of counsel at Paul Hastings, having worked in-house at US asset manager PIMCO before that.

Clifford Chance has also hired Spanish funds lawyer Ildefonso Alier as a partner in its Madrid office. He joins the funds and investment management team after more than 14 years at King & Wood Mallesons in Spain.

The US hires come as UK Magic Circle firms make a concerted effort to build their presence in the States. In 2020, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 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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