Shearman hires Allen & Overy partner to boost London leveraged finance practice

Head of direct lending and India practice chair Sanjeev Dhuna will co-head European team

Shearman & Sterling has bolstered its London leveraged finance practice with the hire of Sanjeev Dhuna from Allen & Overy (A&O).

The move ends Dhuna’s 26-year tenure at the UK Magic Circle firm, where he was head of direct leading and chaired the India practice from within its top tier acquisition finance team.

Dhuna’s experience covers advising both lenders and borrowers on cross-border banking and finance transactions, including acting as lender’s counsel on large-cap leveraged buyouts.

He was the lead leveraged finance partner on the A&O team that earlier this month advised the banks in connection with a €2.35bn loan and debut high-yield bond refinancing by European residential real estate group Foncia.

He will lead his new firm’s European finance team, alongside European managing partner and high-yield specialist Ward McKimm, who rejoined Shearman in 2018 after a three-year sojourn at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Senior partner David Beveridge said: “Sanjeev is a preeminent leveraged finance lawyer. His hire is part of our ongoing strategic priority to grow our core practices in key geographies, enhancing our position as a global elite firm.”

Dhuna’s arrival at Shearman follows that of fellow leveraged finance partner Gary Hamp, who joined from Latham & Watkins on his return from Hong Kong last September.

He is the fourth partner to join Shearman’s London office this year. Last month it hired Travers Smith’s London M&A head Phil Cheveley. His arrival was quickly followed by those of two restructuring specialists: Sam Brodie, who joined from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and Helena Potts, who joined from Latham & Watkins.

In February, A&O boosted its US leveraged finance capability with the hire of White & Case partner Jake Mincemoyer in New York.

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