Latham takes Linklaters City financial regulatory partner in latest magic circle hire

Latham & Watkins has recruited Linklaters financial regulation partner Carl Fernandes in the acquisitive US firm’s latest magic circle hire in London.

Fernandes departs after 17 years at Linklaters, where he made partner six years ago. He was previously based in Hong Kong – where he led the magic circle firm’s Asia financial regulation group for five years – before his return to London in 2011.

His practice focuses on advising clients on key institutional market reforms in Europe, such as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, European Benchmark Regulation and Market Abuse Regulation.

Latham global co-chair of financial institutions Rob Moulton said: “Carl’s track record speaks for itself. Few partners in the City have his depth of knowledge and boardroom experience counselling senior management on the range of high-stakes regulatory issues. Carl is one of the UK’s standout financial regulatory practitioners.”

In 2013, he was part of the Linklaters team which advised 13 major financial institutions –  including Barclays, HSBC, MBNA, Nationwide Building Society, Santander and RBS – on an agreement with Card Protection Plan to return £1.3bn to customers who were mis-sold insurance products.

His hire is part of a wider effort by Latham to boost its financial regulatory capabilities. The firm recruited Moulton from Ashurst in 2016, and he was subsequently joined at Latham by fellow Ashurst partner Nicola Higgs. Last year, the firm also hire Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan financial regulatory partner David Berman.

It is not the first time Latham has looked at Linklaters’ City financial regulatory practice. In February last year, the firm agreed a deal to take on Linklaters partner Daniel Csefalvay, but the move subsequently fell through and Csefalvay instead joined Berwin Leighton Paisner last October.

Other recent magic circle hires for Latham include Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Duesseldorf M&A partner Tobias Larisch earlier this year, and Allen & Overy duo Edward Barnett and Stephen Kensell in 2016.