08 September 2020

Pillsbury strengthens insolvency practice in New York, continuing long-term lateral hiring initiative

Wall Street

Hugh McDonald joins from Troutman Pepper as Pillsbury makes fifth insolvency hire of 2020

Hugh McDonald has joined the ranks of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman’s insolvency & restructuring practice in New York from Troutman Pepper.

McDonald’s arrival as a partner follows a string of hires aimed at bolstering the Pillsbury’s growing insolvency practice in New York and expanding its nationwide capabilities in this practice area. 

McDonald brings over 25 years of experience in all aspects of restructuring, workouts and bankruptcy litigation in the energy and financial services sectors, ahead of likely demand in this field, owing to the global pandemic. 

In the financial services industry, he has extensive experience with asset sales in bankruptcy cases, debtor-in-possession financing, bankruptcy litigation, the liquidation of estates and cross-border cases, all of which is staple fare for practices facing Wall Street.

In the energy sector, McDonald has dealt extensively with the intersection of federal regulation of wholesale power contracts and related bankruptcy litigation. He has represented clients including secured and unsecured creditors, banks, and trustees among others, in a sector which has seen knock-on effects from market volatility and reduced demand as a result of Covid-19.

The move is just the latest taken by Pillsbury this year to enhance its insolvency and restructuring practice, as part of a two-year-long reorganisation of the firm’s resources in this area.

McDonald’s arrival reunites him with former Troutman Pepper insolvency partner Patrick Fitzmaurice, who joined Pillsbury in August.

Other notable recent hires include John Pintarelli, who also joined Pillsbury in August, from Morrison & Foerster. The practice also saw the arrivals of Joshua Morse and Jonathan Doolittle, who both joined the firm in San Francisco in April from DLA Piper and Reed Smith respectively. 

The recent hires, however, are not wholly related to potential demand created by Covid-19 but, according to the firm, a long-term effort by Pillsbury to expand its lateral capabilities.

Leo Crowley, the firm’s insolvency lead, said McDonald’s hiring marks the height of the firm’s recent round of growth, having embarked on the goal of expanding such capabilities at both partner and associate level. 

“This long-term play has built out our practice on both coasts and gives substantial heft to our practice nationwide,” Crowley explained. 

Pillsbury’s flurry of hires reflects the busy nature of insolvency practices globally so far this year, as they beef up this practice areas to meet client demand.

Last month restructuring specialist James Donnell moved to McGuireWoods from Baker McKenzie, Bakers having hired a three-partner team of Mark Bloom, Paul Keenan and John Dodd from Greenberg Traurig in April. In June, Steptoe & Johnson hired McDermott partner Jeff Reisner to lead its restructuring practice.

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