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Latham Adds Corporate Partner Duo from Cahill in New York (1)

Jan. 4, 2023, 2:48 PMUpdated: Jan. 4, 2023, 6:58 PM

Cahill Gordon & Reindel corporate partners Corey Wright and Lisa Collier joining Latham & Watkins’ expanding bench in New York.

Wright, a longtime Cahill partner and member of the New York firm’s executive committee, focuses on capital market transactions. Collier advises commercial and investment banks in leveraged finance and asset-based lending transactions.

The pair are joining Latham’s New York office as partners in its banking practice. They’re the latest addition to Latham’s roster in the Big Apple. The firm late last year picked up Christopher Garcia, the co-head of the Weil Gotshal & Manges white collar, regulatory and investigations practice.

Historically, Latham and Cahill were the two firms that did high-end leveraged finance work — and that has remained the case, said Marc Jaffe, office managing partner of Latham’s New York office and previous co-chair of its capital markets practice.

“We have a place in the market that I think is unrivaled,” he said. “As we looked at ways to make ourselves even that much better, there were only a couple of names in the market that made any sense to add to the practice, and Corey and Lisa were two.”

Banking and leveraged finance remain two of Latham’s core practices, said Dan Seale, global chair of Latham’s banking practice. Wright and Collier will help the firm continue to grow both across the large syndicated markets as well as in private credit, he said.

While the new year might start off choppy, Jaffe said, “these are the sorts of environments where we further separate ourselves from every other law firm.” He added, “Market activity is going to pick up in a meaningful way, whether it’s into Q1 or whether it’s Q2, and we are going to be incredibly busy.”

Wright, Collier

Wright and Collier have experience advising on domestic and cross-border leveraged finance and asset-based lending transactions. They work on both the high-yield bond and bank sides of financings and refinancings, debt and equity offerings, and out-of-court debt restructurings.

Wright has represented the financing sources in several leveraged buyouts, including hospital operator HCA Healthcare, Aramark Corp., and Charter Communications’ acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse Networks.

He also represented the dealer managers in a $38 billion private debt exchange offer by GMAC and certain of its subsidiaries, which stands as the largest private debt exchange offer to date.

Cahill has a very focused and concentrated practice area, whereas Latham’s platform provides a wide array of specialty areas, expertise, and international offices, Wright said. “It’s going to allow us to elevate our own game,” he said.

Wright’s move to Latham was brokered by Sabina Lippman, partner and co-founder of global legal recruitment firm Lippman Jungers.

Cahill

Wright and Collier are the latest capital markets departures from Cahill, which last April lost partner Doug Horowitz to Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. Horowitz now serves as head of Gibson’s leveraged and acquisition finance group and co-chairs its global finance practice group.

Cahill, a New York-founded firm that specializes in capital markets and banking and finance, has roughly 284 attorneys across its offices in New York, Washington and London. The firm brought in $515 million in gross revenue while its profits per equity partner reached more than $5.5 million in 2021, ranking it among the top 10 law firms in partner profits, according to figures reported by the American Lawyer.

“We thank Corey and Lisa for their years of service to the firm’s clients and wish them well in their new endeavors,” Cahill said in a statement.

The firm on Monday announced the addition of King & Spalding’s global chair of life sciences patent litigation practice Gerald Flattmann. Flattman will serve as chair of Cahill’s life sciences patent litigation practice.

(Updated with comments from Wright, Jaffe and Seale throughout; Updated with statement from Cahill on Wright and Collier's departure)

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com