International law firm, Linklaters has lured Paul Kruger over to its burgeoning Asian capital markets team in Tokyo. Kruger comes to the firm from Clifford Chance and his hire is described as a major coup by many Asian ABS professionals.

"In my opinion he's the best securitization lawyer in the region and has always been my first choice to work with," says one top ABS banker. "His departure leaves a big hole in Clifford Chance's capital markets team."

Indeed, Krueger brings with him an impressive pedigree after having worked on last year's top securitisation deals; Hong Kong Link's HK$6 billion toll road securitization and Korea First Bank's Euro550 million RMBS.

What remains to be seen, however, is who or what else Kruger will be taking with him, since it is as yet unclear if any of the key members of his capital markets team will follow him.

The move will unquestionably bolster Linklaters emergent Asian capital markets team. Having augmented its already solid Japanese structured finance practice with the recent appointments of top structured finance lawyers Akihiro Wani and Mitsuhiro Yasuda, Kruger's addition will allow Linklaters to make substantial inroads into the broader Asian market.

In addition to Japan, Kruger's practice will focus on Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the emerging Chinese marketplace, specializing in securitization, non-performing loan acquisitions and property and tax-based financing.

He will start work at Linklaters in June.