Magic circle's high-yield weaknesses revealed

Author: | Published: 1 Nov 2010

In the dizzying churn of lateral hires every month, it is easy to understate the significance of individual moves.

But the magic circle’s hires of high-yield partners in the last year, including Kevin Muzilla’s move to Allen & Overy, Mark Hageman’s move to Linklaters and Gil Strauss’s move to Freshfields respectively, was lost on no-one. It was the first time magic-circle firms laterally hired a high-yield partner in London. It signified to bank counsel in particular that they were open for business for high-yield work.

But while impressed that the magic circle is finally making an effort, bank counsel say that it’s merely a starting point. They’re far behind the US firms in London in terms of relationships, know-how and resources, and have a lot of work to do to break into the market.

Changing focus

During the boom...