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Simpson Thacher Continue To Boost London Law Practice With Eyes on European Expansion

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has hired senior lawyers from Freshfields and Kirkland & Ellis to build its European restructuring practice in London.

Adam Gallagher and James Watson join as partners from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Kirkland & Ellis respectively with Simpson Thacher betting on more distressed companies seeking legal help following the pandemic, Brexit and other market disruptions.

“Establishing a restructuring practice in Europe is a logical expansion of our existing platform and will further enhance our ability to serve clients across the corporate, private equity and financial sectors as a single source of best-in-class advice,” said the London managing partner, Jason Glover.

Gallagher spent two decades at Freshfields where he specialised in corporate restructuring and insolvency matters, becoming a partner in 2007. Watson has been a Kirkland & Ellis partner for three years.

The restructuring practice is the firm’s latest strategic move in Europe following an announcement earlier this week of its plans to open a Brussels office in the summer as it adjusts to the post-Brexit operating environment.

The firm has been active on other fronts too, investing in its London office with the arrival of Allen & Overy’s former global antitrust co-head Antonio Bavasso in December, whose dual Italian and UK qualification credentials means he will lead the Brussels office when it opens.

Three other high profile partners also arrived last year, being financial regulation specialist Owen Lysak from Clifford Chance, private equity partner James Howe from Gibson Dunn and Linklaters’ former head of tax Yash Rupal.

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