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Does Milbank Raid Suggest Law Firms Are Readying for an M&A Comeback?

Posted Aug 9, 2010 11:13 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A five-partner raid last week may suggest that law firms are readying for a new wave of mergers and acquisitions.

In a rare move, five banking and leveraged-finance partners jumped from Latham & Watkins to Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. According to CNBC.com, the raid “may foreshadow a mergers and acquisitions boom.”

The partners’ move to “One Chase Manhattan Plaza, in the heart of the financial district, shows that New York law firms are prepping for a big comeback for M&A debt financing,” CNBC.com says. “It seems likely that the clients of these lawyers—big financial institutions—are letting them know that lending standards may once again be easing and credit becoming more available for leveraged finance driven-deals.”

Leading the group is “legendary banking lawyer” Marc Hanrahan, the story says. CNBC.com acknowledges it is relying on “anecdotal evidence” and says Milbank could be making a bet that turns out to be wrong.

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