White & Case nabs debt finance partner duo from A&O in New York

Rajani Gupta and Judah Frogel depart Magic Circle firm amid ongoing US growth push
Portraits of Judah Frogel and Rajani Gupta

Judah Frogel and Rajani Gupta

White & Case has hired two debt finance partners from Allen & Overy (A&O) in New York. 

Rajani Gupta and Judah Frogel both join White & Case’s global debt finance practice after six years at A&O, where they were partners. Frogel previously worked at White & Case as an associate between 2005 and 2012, and again as a partner between 2015 and 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile. 

Eric Leicht, global head of the firm’s debt finance practice, described Gupta and Frogel as “top-flight” practitioners in the syndicated lending and sponsor finance space. 

“Their arrival builds on the recent growth of our practice globally, reinforces our commitment to the syndicated lending business and solidifies our position as a leading choice for lenders and sponsors across the full range of debt finance offerings,” he added.

Both Gupta and Frogel specialise in handling domestic and international debt finance transactions, including acquisition financings, first-and-second-lien financings, debtor-in-possession and exit financings and working capital and asset-based financings. Their clients include banks, private equity funds, corporates and other financial institutions. 

Eliza McDougall, White & Case’s regional section head of Americas banking, said the duo’s bank lending experience “complements the recent investments we have made in our private credit and borrower finance capabilities”. 

Gupta and Frogel are the latest in a string of lateral partners hires this year for White & Case’s global debt finance practice. Another new arrival was fellow New York-based partner Brett Pallin, who moved over from Kirkland & Ellis in June. 

The firm also hired a trio of private credit partners in Boston from Proskauer Rose in March. The group included Vincenzo Lucibello, who joined as co-head of White & Case’s US private credit and direct lending group. 

Elsewhere, the firm hired Paul Yin from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Monica Barton from Winston & Strawn in London; Neeloferr Roy from Linklaters in Paris; and Jaime Rossi from Herbert Smith Freehills in Madrid. 

A&O, meanwhile, has been significantly investing in its US platform in recent months. It pointed to the growth of its US platform as a key driver behind its financial performance this year, with more than 50% of its 10% growth in revenue to £1.94bn attributed to its US offices. 

Last spring the firm added a six-partner project finance and renewables team from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to launch in Los Angeles and later in the year secured a seven-partner team from White & Case to set up shop in San Francisco and Palo Alto

And last September the firm looked to the East Coast, adding Morrison & Foerster’s blockchain and smart contracts group co-chair Dario de Martino in New York to beef up its tech M&A bench. 

In February it also hired five highly-rated life sciences IP litigation partners from Goodwin Procter in February to launch an office in Boston, its fifth in the US, and in the same month secured the head of Akin Gump’s energy regulation, markets and enforcement practice, Chip Cannon, in Washington DC. 

Commenting on the departure of Gupta and Frogel, an A&O spokesperson said: “We’d like to thank each for their contributions and wish them well in the future.”

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