A three-partner group of debt finance lawyers has departed Cahill Gordon & Reindel to join Paul Hastings in New York, the firm said Monday.
Josh Zelig, Marc Lashbrook, and David Barash have advised on finance and debt capital markets deals involving the likes of Blackstone Inc., KKR & Co. Inc., and Bain Capital.
The exits are a blow Cahill, whose performance has waned amid the recent economic downturn and a slowdown in high-yield debt work. The firm, which specializes in capital market, banking, and high-yield debt transactions, saw its revenue and profits plummet last year.
The trio’s jump to Paul Hastings will see them “join forces with the existing crew and create a larger powerhouse to be on a footing with any other finance practices around the world,” Zelig said in an interview.
The firm has been on a hiring spree since Frank Lopez took over last year as its leader.
Paul Hastings recently added a finance team from Latham & Watkins in London, a high-yield team from Weil, Gotshal & Manges in London, and Morgan Bale, a former Weil finance partner, in New York.
Junk Bonds Drop
The trio worked together at Cahill for around 16 years, Lashbrook said. Their transactional work includes deals for banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Co., and Barclays PLC.
“Our hope is that our clients will follow us,” said Zelig.
Zelig’s deal sheet includes acquisition-related financings with Brookfield Capital, Stone Point Capital, Blackstone Inc. and KKR & Co. Inc., and high-yield debt offerings for Dell Technologies, AMC Entertainment and VMWare Inc.
Lashbrook has represented the financing sources on deals including the $23 billion financing for T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint Corporation and $13 billion in financing a Blackstone-led consortium’s acquisition of Refinitiv.
Barash has represented the financing sources on deals including TPG’s acquisition of Kindred Healthcare, Bain Capital’s acquisition of U.S. Renal Care and Blackstone’s acquisition of Team Health.
The moves come as finance transactions have slowed and the high-yield “junk bond” market has dried up in recent years.
“Obviously the the broader syndicated markets have been struggling in the higher interest rate environment,” said Zelig.
Manager-side high yield debt issues plunged dramatically between 2021 and 2022, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Issues this year are so far at pace to match last year’s lows, the data show.
The group’s departure add to the turnover at Cahill.
The firm brought in $415 million in gross revenue in 2022, a 19.5% drop from the previous year, according to data from the American Lawyer. Its profits per equity partner dipped 27.1% to $4.04 million in 2022.
Cahill lawyers Kimberly Petillo-Décossard, co-leader of the firm’s M&A and corporate advisory group, and Ross Sturman left for White & Case in March. Corporate partners Corey Wright and Lisa Collier left for Latham & Watkins earlier in the year.
The newly minted Paul Hastings partners do not have immediate plans to bring anyone else on board the team, Zelig said.
—Roy Strom contributed to this report
To contact the reporter on this story:
To contact the editors responsible for this story: