Two London-based global law firms announced partner hires Wednesday that bolstered their services in funds formation and financial regulation, each citing a need to increase its capabilities to keep up with the evolution of asset management and financial regulation in the U.S.
Linklaters hired Washington, D.C., partner Donald Waack, formerly a partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, to join its U.S. Financial Regulation Group. In an interview, Waack said he joined Linklaters for the quality of its global financial regulation practice, which will benefit Waack’s global banking clients in London, Luxembourg, Tokyo, China, and elsewhere.
Waack is Linklaters’ sixth U.S.-based financial regulatory lawyer and the only one based in Washington, D.C. In recent interviews, London partners told Law.com that adding scale in the U.S. is high on Linklaters’ list of priorities as rival London firms outpace its growth in major U.S. markets.
Linklaters U.S. lead Tom McGrath echoed their sentiment. “In the U.S., we’re looking to grow substantially, and making sure that we have a top-flight financial regulatory practice is really important as one of the pieces in that puzzle,” McGrath said in an interview. More U.S. hires are on the horizon for the firm’s M&A, private equity, and transactional teams, he added.
In Waack’s practice, which also includes some U.S. banks with global operations, demand is high thanks to continuing innovation in the financial sector, which is putting pressure on traditional institutions. “Credit funds and other non-bank lenders have taken over significant marketshare in commercial lending or residential mortgage lending, but also the large traditional institutions are extremely innovative,” Waack said. “It’s an exciting time to be in the space, given how heavily regulated the financial sector is in the U.S. and elsewhere.”
A Morgan Lewis spokesperson said the firm wished Waack well.
In New York, Clifford Chance announced the addition of partner Vadim Avdeychik to its U.S. funds and investment management practice. Avdeychik had worked at Paul Hastings as an of counsel; before that, he was the VP and counsel of PIMCO, an investment management company with $2 trillion in assets.
In a press release, the firm said Avdeychik will work on registered funds, business development companies, and other regulatory mandates and specialty finance. In an email, practice co-head Cliff Cone said Avdeychik’s experience with the Investment Company Act of 1940 and business development companies (BDCs] will help the practice stay credible in the fund space.
“Currently, a notable factor is the trend by large asset managers to increasingly gather assets from various distribution channels and underlying investor categories,” Cone said. “This evolution and continued democratization of private equity, illiquid credit and hedge-like strategies for retail audiences has made  Act and BDC experience more critical than ever.”
Avdeychik is the third investment management partner to join the firm’s New York office in the past month, following the early May additions of former Covington & Burling private funds and investments practice chair William Sturman and former Covington special counsel Kelly Labritz. Last year, the firm added former Apollo Global Management managing director Susan Burkhardt to its global funds practice, but lost New York funds partner Victory Levy to Kirkland & Ellis.