Allen & Overy swoops on Linklaters for double partner hire

Allen & Overy has made a rare double partner hire from Magic Circle rival Linklaters in London, bringing in two senior leveraged finance partners.

Annette Kurdian and Robert Burt have joined A&O as partners, the firm said in a 7 May statement.

A&O’s co-head of global leveraged finance, Nick Clark said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Annette and Robert, two prominent finance lawyers in the London market. We’re excited about what the combination of their strengths with our market leading team will mean for our clients.”

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Kurdian has been a partner at Linklaters since 2006 and Burt has been a partner at the firm since 2007, according to their LinkedIn profiles.

A spokesperson for Linklaters said: “We can confirm that Annette Kurdian and Robert Burt are leaving the firm. We thank them for their contribution to the firm over the years and wish them all the best with this next stage of their careers.”

A&O’s London leveraged finance ranks were dented last year when US firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel hired the firm’s former leveraged finance head Jonathan Brownson and debt finance specialist Jake Keaveny.

Brownson was prised away from A&O with the offer of a remuneration package reportedly worth nearly $7m-a-year.

Following his exit A&O overhauled its lockstep pay structure to enable it to reward star partners better and help fend off raids from high-paying US law firms.

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Multiple partners at Linklaters have told Financial News that they expect Linklaters to launch a similar review of its lockstep pay structure once the election process for its new senior partner concludes later this month.

The three candidates in the race to succeed Charlie Jacobs as senior partner are corporate head Aedamar Comiskey, London corporate partner Sarah Wiggins, and Milan finance partner Claudia Parzani.

Jacobs is set to join JPMorgan as co-head of its UK investment banking unit once he leaves Linklaters.

The Lawyer Magazine first reported the A&O duo’s exit. 

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email James Booth