Latham & Watkins continued its recent spree of lateral hires from the magic circle in Germany this week, recruiting Allen & Overy’s (A&Os) head of international capital markets, and joint head of equity capital markets for EMEA.
Oliver Seiler, one of Germany’s leading practising equity capital markets specialists, has joined Latham as partner in Frankfurt.
Recruited by the magic circle outfit in the late 90s, Seiler helped establish the firm’s German capital markets group as one of the top five practices in the country, with equity a particular strength. In the last five years alone, the firm has secured roles on many of the country’s most significant IPOs, secondary transactions and convertible bond issues, including roles on Hapag-Lloyd’s, Senvion’s and Rocket Internet’s IPOs.
Latham has one of Germany’s leading international high-yield markets practices, but equity has never been a core focus. Private equity is, however, and a stronger equity offering will strengthen its status among clients in this sector who commonly need dual-track advice.
This latest appointment by the US firm continues a spate of significant lateral hires from the magic circle in Germany. It recruited Clifford Chance’s Germany private equity head, Oliver Felsenstein, and his colleague, Burc Hesse, another buy-out partner, and the firm’s banking and finance head, Alexandra Hagelüken, last year. Earlier this year it added Linklater’s German private equity head, Rainer Traugott.
Latham’s European expansion has not been limited to Germany. In London too it has been recruiting fairly aggressively – albeit over a longer period – adding Allen & Overy’s senior banking partner, Stephen Kensell, in July and, since 2013, taking three private equity partners from Clifford Chance. Most senior of the three was former practice head in the City, David Walker. Younger partners Tom Evans and Kem Ihenacho followed the subsequent year.
Allen & Overy’s German capital markets practice is not unaccustomed to change. Last year, it recruited Ashurst debt capital markets partner Christoph Enderstein. In 2014, its US capital markets partner Gernot Wagner moved to White & Case and, last year, Marc Plepilits, who shares the same specialty and position as Wagner, was hired from Shearman & Sterling.
The UK firm has not announced who will take over Seiler’s role, but, given his experience and focus, Plepilts appears the most likely candidate.