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Freshfields Hires Two Practice Heads to Boost U.S. Presence

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Summary: International law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has hired two leading US-based-attorneys, Mitchell Presser and James Douglas to act as heads of the law firm’s US M&A Practice and US Leveraged Finance Practice, respectively.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer announced on Wednesday that the law firm has hired two US-based-attorneys to head its US M&A Practice and US Leveraged Finance Practice. The attorneys, Mitchell Presser and James Douglas have joined as partners in the New York office of the law firm.

The news release made by the law firm on the hires stated the management took it “as a major step in the expansion of its transactional practice in the United States.”

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Speaking on the significance of the new hires, Edward Braham, head of Freshfields’ global corporate practice, said, “Today marks an important milestone in the development of our US practice, where we have already established strength in arbitration, litigation and global investigations, as well as antitrust, M&A, tax and finance.”

Braham added further, “Today’s M&A market is defined by increasingly complex international deals, and the addition of Mitchell and Jim solidifies our position as the first choice for these kinds of transactions.”

Mitchell Presser was previously a partner with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where he worked on many multi-billion dollar M&A transactions. He played a key role in Morgan Stanley’s acquisition of TransMontaigne and QVC’s bid for Paramount. He later on went on to become a founding partner of private equity firm Paine + Partners where he worked for seven years.

James Douglas is a former head of the Banking and Finance Practice at Skadden. He has led high-profile transactions like the leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco, the acquisition of Conrail by Norfolk Southern, the cross-border acquisition of Kolynos by Colgate-Palmolive and numerous other complex and leveraged transactions.

Speaking on the importance of the U.S. market in transactional practice, Douglas who has been consistently ranked as a top lawyer by Chambers, said “Whether deals are financed out of the US or involve technology developed here, the US remains the key market for leveraged finance.”

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