Cravath splits global M&A leadership as former chief heads for UK

Cravath Swaine & Moore has split the management of its global M&A practice ahead of the imminent relocation of former global M&A head Richard Hall (pictured) to London to bolster the firm’s European footprint.

The firm’s Americas M&A practice will now be jointly led by New York partners Robert Townsend and Faiza Saeed. 

Recent high-profile roles for Townsend have included acting for pharma giant Johnson & Johnson on its $19.7bn (£12.9bn) acquisition of Synthes in 2012, while Saeed counts major corporates such as Kraft Foods, Morgan Stanley and Time Warner among her key clients.

Cravath’s US corporate team is widely regarded as one of the elite New York sets. The firm will have five partners in London following Hall’s arrival, all of whom are US-qualified. Many of its associates are on a rotation programme from its New York base.

On his move to the City, Hall’s official title will be head of M&A for EMEA, although in effect he will be in charge of all non-Americas M&A activity.

He said: “It is clear that [Europe] is under-delivering and it can’t stay down for longer. What is holding Europe back now is nervousness, which won’t stay around forever.”

Hall’s client list includes Shell, Banco Santander, Xstrata and Linde.