Freshfields lures Cravath dealmaker in latest loss for Wall St firm

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A nameplate of the Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP office is pictured in Frankfurt, Germany December 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

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  • Jenny Hochenberg is an M&A lawyer who has worked for clients like Time Warner, Johnson & Johnson
  • Freshfields has hired two other lawyers from Cravath in the last year

(Reuters) - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer said Thursday that it has hired an M&A partner from New York-based Cravath Swaine & Moore, a firm that has historically lost few lawyers to competitors.

New Freshfields partner Jenny Hochenberg represented Time Warner Inc in its $109 billion sale to AT&T Inc, the firm said. Hochenberg's other clients have included Johnson & Johnson, Atlas Air Worldwide and Cable One, according to Freshfields.

She joined Cravath in 2009 and made partner in 2017, according to her online Cravath attorney bio.

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“We wish Jenny well in her future endeavors,” a Cravath spokesperson said Thursday.

In December, Cravath said it would no longer adhere to a strictly seniority-based compensation system for partners, a move that several law firms have made to improve attorney recruitment and retention.

Cravath lost another M&A partner last week, when Allison Wein joined Kirkland & Ellis' corporate practice in New York.

London-founded Freshfields has recruited two other lawyers from the Wall Street firm in the last year.

In September, Freshfields tapped Damien Zoubek, who spent 20 years as a partner at Cravath, as co-head of its U.S. corporate and M&A practice. Zoubek and Hochenberg both advised Australian company Afterpay Ltd on its pending $29 billion acquisition by payment company Block Inc, formerly known as Square Inc.

"Jenny is one of the smartest and most capable corporate lawyers I’ve ever seen, and I’m thrilled that she’s chosen to join Freshfields," Zoubek said in a statement.

In January, 18-year Cravath veteran Nicole Foster joined Freshfields as co-lead of its U.S. employee benefits and executive compensation practice.

Freshfields, which has over 2,800 lawyers, has added about 40 partners in the U.S. since 2018, and the percentage of women in the partnership in the U.S. has increased from 24% to 36%, according to the firm.

Freshfields also added corporate partner Andrew Hill to its almost two-year-old Silicon Valley office from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati earlier this week.

(Corrects story to clarify that Foster was not a partner at Cravath).

Read More:

Cravath loses another lawyer to Freshfields in New York

Freshfields lures Cravath partner as M&A practice co-head

Cravath loses M&A partner to Kirkland in another lawyer exit

Cravath abandons strict pay model, joining most law firm peers

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Chinekwu Osakwe covers legal industry news with a focus on midsize law firms. Reach her at Chinekwu.osakwe@thomsonreuters.com.