Regulation & Law

Transatlantic Double Blow for Freshfields

Ward McKimm leaves for Shearman & Sterling and Paul Tropp heads to Ropes & Gray.

Ward McKimm leaves for Shearman & Sterling and Paul Tropp heads to Ropes & Gray.


Freshfields suffered dual hit to its finance capabilities following the news that London-based Ward McKimm and New York-based Paul Tropp were set to depart for US rivals.

McKimm, considered a leading light in Freshfields' high-yield financing practice, is set to return to Shearman & Sterling's London office. He leaves after only three years at the Magic Circle firm, having arrived in 2015 from Kirkland & Ellis and having practiced at Shearman for 14 years beforehand. Reports at the time indicated that Freshfields had broken its lockstep to secure his arrival, precipitating changes which eventually led to the firm's highly publicized revamp of its remuneration system last year. 

Speaking to Legalease, McKimm said: "I am pleased to be re-joining such a vibrant and successful team. The capital markets and leveraged finance team at Shearman & Sterling has always been one of the best in the market."

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Ropes & Gray revealed it had secured the services of Paul Tropp, who is set to join the firm in New York. He formerly chaired Freshfields' capital markets practice in its New York office and has diverse experience in debt and equity offerings.

The announcement was welcomed by Patrick O'Brien, cochair of Ropes & Gray's securities and public company practice, who remarked: “Paul’s guidance is sought-after and highly regarded on complex capital markets transactions by the world’s leading financial institutions. The breadth of his experience makes him a strong addition to our already robust capital markets practice.”

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