White & Case is adding two debt financing partners from Allen & Overy in New York, Judah Frogel and Rajani Gupta, continuing a hiring spurt during which the firm had added 10 laterals to the debt financing practice in the world so far in 2022.
These moves are also part of a larger, long-term pattern of Magic Circle companies struggling to retain talent in the US, with some New York partners of UK companies struggling to find resources and a market penetration to match US-based global companies.
For their part, the two partners, who arrived at Allen & Overy in 2016, declined to comment on their former practice and whether these circumstances had motivated their departure from Allen & Overy.
They also declined to say whether they expected their current clientele to travel with them, but said they “wouldn’t have started the search without telling them.”
“When I was considering making a switch, I spoke with clients about what they thought of other companies in the market,” Gupta said in an interview. “The White & Case name came up in many of these conversations. The more I learned about the company, the easier it was to make a decision.
Frogel said White & Case’s “well-known cross-border capability” as well as its familiarity with the business contributed to its decision.
“I had been to White & Case in the past,” Frogel said. “That’s where I grew up. I personally hold them in very high esteem. They know their documents and they know their transactions. These attributes will be valuable as the tailwinds for fragile markets set in. »
Frogel represents investment and commercial banks, private lenders, private equity sponsors and corporate borrowers in a wide variety of areas, from debt financings to restructuring to real estate financing, the firm said.
Frogel began his legal career as an associate at White & Case for seven years before leaving for an analyst role at Covenant Review in 2012. He then returned to White & Case for a year and a half before moving on to previous six years at Allen & Overy.
Gupta was a partner at Latham & Watkins for nine years before joining Proskauer as a partner in 2012. She represents banks and other financial institutions as lenders and strategic investors, as well as private equity funds and companies as borrowers in foreign and domestic financing. , says the firm.
“Their strong bank lending experience complements recent investments we have made in our private credit and borrower finance capabilities and further uniquely positions the business to provide leading service and advice to our clients across the full spectrum of complex leveraged finance transactions,” Eliza McDougall, head of U.S. banking regional practice at White & Case, said in a statement.
Fueling its global debt finance practice, White & Case said it added Vincenzo Lucibello, Jessica Ball and Jessica Shearer in his Boston office in March; Paul Yin in London in March; and Neeloferr Roy in the firm’s Paris office in March; Monica Barton in London in May; Brett Pallin in New York in June; and Jaime Rossi in Madrid earlier this month.
Allen & Overy did not immediately return a request for comment regarding Frogel and Gupta’s move.
Allen & Overy made news this summer by refusing to match the salaries of newly qualified lawyers that two of its competitors, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Clifford Chance, adopted in June. These last two companies increased the NQ salary from 107,500 euros to 125,000 euros in April and May, respectively.
Pay rises made by other Magic Circle companies are believed to be a direct response to the US associate pay wars, which have spilled over into the UK and are believed by many to pose a threat to UK-based companies. United when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.