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Two Mergers and Acquisitions Partners Hired by Clifford Chance from Dewey & LeBoeuf

Ivan Presant and Joseph Cosentino, partners from Dewey & LeBoeuf M&A, are leaving the firm to join Clifford Chance in New York. The lateral moves are the firm’s latest aimed at making its New York office stronger.

Cosentino has been working for the previous ten years at Dewey, where he began work as an associate at predecessor firm Dewey Ballantine. That firm merged with LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae back in August of 2007. Cosentino was promoted in January of 2009 to partner.

Presant joined the firm, after its merger, back in June of 2008. He previously served as a partner at Greenberg Traurig in New York. Presant began his legal career with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson before spending seven years working as an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell.

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The two worked hand in hand with the firm’s vice-chair and M&A group co-chair Morton Pierce. The two recently assisted Pierce in advising Talbots over the summer when the company tried to fend off private equity suitor Sycamore Partners.

The two will be joining a firm in Clifford Chance that has been among the top legal advisers in cross-border transactions in 2011. Clifford Chance is hoping that the addition of the two men will help increase the firm’s domestic transactions too.

“We have one of the leading international M&A practices in the world and our Americas team has a strong track record in complex transactions, both domestic and cross-border,” Matthew Layton, the global corporate practice head, said. “As a next step in our evolution we are continuing to deepen and strengthen our team in the States.”

The M&A group for Clifford Chance, part of the firm’s 750-lawyer corporate practice, was very busy at the end of the past year. Aujan Industries, a Saudi Arabian beverage manufacturer, used Clifford Chance to help sell half of its operations to Coca-Cola for $980 million.

Robert Masella, a partner for Clifford Chance, was on a team from the firm that was advising Mitsubishi in November. The team helped Mitsubishi secure a $5.4 billion Chilean copper contract with Anglo American, a mining company headquartered in London.

Clifford Chance then worked as counsel for Citigroup and EMI Group a couple of weeks later on two transactions that totaled $4.1 billion. The transactions broke apart the London company through sales to Vivendi’s Universal Music Group and Sony. As it turns out, Cosentino was on the team from Dewey that was advising Sony during the purchase.

At 1,045-lawyer Dewey & LeBoeuf, profits increased by 9.6 percent in 2010 to $1.8 million. There were gross revenues of $910 million for the firm.

The gross revenues for Clifford Chance in 2010 stayed strong at $1.9 billion. At the 2,500-lawyer Magic Circle firm, profits per partner hit at about $1.6 million. A spokesman from Clifford Chance did say that a legal recruiter was used to make the lateral hires from Dewey but the spokesman did not name the recruiting agency.

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