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Hires in London for MoFo and O’Melveny as Paul Hastings brings in Pfizer’s assistant GC

US firms have announced a number of senior hires in the last few days as Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) and O’Melveny & Myers turn to their rivals for partner appointments in London, while Paul Hastings’ New York office brings in Pfizer’s head of government investigations as partner.

At MoFo, former head of Reed Smith’s acquisition and leveraged finance practice in London, Philip Slater, is to join the top 30 Global100 firm’s financial transactions group as partner.

His arrival closely follows that of new London business restructuring & insolvency head Howard Morris, who joined the firm last November after 22 years at Dentons, where he held a number of senior management positions.

Notable transactions led by Slater include advising The Co-operative Group on all aspects of its £950million debt refinancing, including the associated repositioning of its interest rate swaps and capital markets debt.

Chair of MoFo’s financial transactions group, Jill Feldman said: ‘The addition of another finance partner in one of the world’s key financial centres is a crucial step in the overall strategic development of the financial transactions group.

‘The recent appointment of finance partners Jeremy Hunt and Marcia Ellis in Hong Kong, and Adam Summerly and Jake Robson in Singapore, has increased the need for regular English Law finance guidance in the Asian market. Phil’s arrival allows us to provide this service to clients and illustrates our continued commitment to developing the global capabilities of the group.’

Elsewhere, O’Melveny has bolstered its European transactions capability with the hire of acquisitions and private equity partner Daniel Oates from Kirkland & Ellis, who joins the London M&A practice.

Recent notable transactions for the Slaughter and May-trained lawyer include advising US adventure capital firm, Sequoia Capital, on its acquisition of a stake in UK-based airline ticketing business, Skyscanner.

O’Melveney’s chair Bradley Butwin said: ‘We’ve been steadily building our transactions platform over the past several years and Dan will help broaden our European transactions capabilities in a way that will positively impact our ability to assist clients with a far greater range of services. His strong background and M&A experience will add tremendous value to the existing work we’re doing for both private equity and corporate clients in London and globally.’

In New York, Paul Hastings yesterday (20 February) announced the hire of Pfizer’s former vice president, assistant general counsel (GC) and head of government investigations, Gary Giampetruzzi, as a partner in its New York office, continuing the firm’s expansion of its global compliance, investigations and enforcement practice.

Giampetruzzi held various posts during his 13 years at the American multinational pharmaceutical corporation, where his achievements including helping to originate the company’s global compliance program and leading its anti-corruption and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) programmes as a deputy compliance officer.

Barry Sher, chair of Paul Hastings litigation practice, said: ‘We represent leading life sciences companies across a range of complex matters, and Gary’s extensive experience with Pfizer…brings another key dimension to our practice.’

Giampetruzzi’s departure comes a month after it emerged that Pfizer’s high profile general counsel Amy Schulman had resigned, despite in July being named as head of vaccines, oncology and consumer healthcare business, a post she was expected to assume in the New Year.