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Orrick adds muscle to structured finance practice in Asia

Michelle Taylor, a prominent securities and structured finance expert and specialist in Asian legal matters joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe's Hong Kong office as a partner. Taylor, who earlier served Paul, Hastings, Janofsky, & Walker in its Hong Kong office, handled several notable transactions during her career. The move to induct Taylor follows the firm's ongoing plans to expand its structured finance capabilities geographically in response to the growing need for securitization and structured finance in capital markets around the world.

The firm is upbeat about Michelle's joining as it hopes to reap greatly from her vast experience and strengthen its global structured finance practice. Orrick is banking on Taylor's focused practice and expertise in Asian legal matters to give the firm an edge over its competitors in the region. Taylor, on her part, is happy to join the international firm as its global presence will help her gain rich experience.

International law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has more than 900 lawyers across the continents who serve a wide array of clients on matters relating to litigation, complex and novel finance, and innovative corporate transactions.

Hiring at top U.S. law firms see 4% increase
The results of the annual staff survey conducted by National Law Journal were released recently. The survey reports that prominent U.S. law firms showed a meager 4 percent increase in recruitments in 2006. The Top 10 firms of last year maintained their status quo. At the end of September 2006, a total of 121,423 attorneys were appointed in Top 250 law firms this year, 4,752 more than last year. The firms have added to their various teams to keep in tune with the growing demands of the market, as well as to remain at par with the expanding clientele list and their varied needs.

In spite of the marginal rise in lawyer recruitment, partners increased by 48,954, amounting to 5.1 per cent, while associates registered a growth rate of 4.8 per cent. But the increase registered among salaried partners in one year is impressive, with the non-equity partners growing by 16.1 per cent. The other highlights in the survey included starting salaries for Associates within the Top 50 firms, which ranged between $85,000 and $145,000.

A few firms like Baker & McKenzie (who added 226 names to its rosters during the year), Greenberg Traurig, and Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw registered recruitment rate of 12.4 per cent, and 9.1 per cent, respectively, showed significant growth. On the other hand, some major contenders like Jones Day and Shearman & Sterling suffered losses in attorney strength due to defection. In the case of individual firms, one major reason behind the changing growth rate is mergers. Most small to midsize firms merged with big name firms, accounting for the firms' growth between 20 per cent and 25 per cent.

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