Faegre Drinker has brought aboard two restructuring attorneys from practice leadership posts at Sidley Austin.
James F. Conlan and Patrick Corr will be partners in the global finance and restructuring practice.
Their hiring follows the merger in February of Faegre Baker Daniels, an international law firm with roots in the Midwest, and Drinker Biddle & Reath, a full-service national law firm.
Conlan had been a co-chair of Sidley’s corporate restructuring practice, and a member of its executive committee. Corr had been head of Sidley’s European restructuring and insolvency practice.
Law firms, including Faegre, have been vying for restructuring and bankruptcy lawyers as Covid-19 shutdowns and the ensuing economic turmoil have led to some major bankruptcies, including J.C. Penney, J. Crew, Neiman Marcus and car rental giant Hertz.
In April, Latham & Watkins hired Suzzanne Uhland, the former chair of O’Melveny & Myers’ U.S. restructuring practice. That hire followed two others from O’Melveny in 2018, and additions from other firms, to bolster Latham’s restructurings and special situations practice.
Faegre also has been building its finance and restructuring practice, adding two other partners in New York in recent months, for a total of 100 professionals working on issues including financial transactions, corporate debt restructurings, as well as bankruptcy and litigation matters.
Corr, who has experience working in corporate recovery and turnaround matters, said he and Conlan “were attracted to the firm’s diverse platform, which will allow us to bring a high level of support to clients, especially in cross-border matters.”
Conlan worked on matters in a range of industries, including automotive, consumer products and packaging, energy and manufacturing, as well as matters involving restructurings driven by mass torts and sovereign debt. During 32 years at Sidley, he held several leadership positions in its restructuring practice.
“We are looking to push the practice ever farther and faster,” Conlan said of his new position. “We don’t have a lot of time; the global recession is here. There are a lot of companies in a lot of industries that are going to have to restructure their balance sheets across multiple jurisdictions. This is far bigger than anything that happened in 2009, 2010 or 2011.”
Faegre co-chair Andrew Kassner, whose practice also focuses on restructuring and insolvency, welcomed Conlan and Corr and said the new hires also would be “leveraging many of our existing practice strengths including product liability and mass torts, M&A and litigation.”
At Sidley Austin, Mike Schmidtberger, chair of the firm’s executive committee, said “We wish Jim and Patrick the best and thank them for their contributions.”
He said that Sidley has “a deep, experienced and active bankruptcy and restructuring team in the U.S. and London markets co-led by partners Jessica Boelter and Bojan Guzina. We remain committed to this practice area, and of course to providing clients with solutions to their most pressing issues.”
Conlan will work from New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. Corr will be based in London.