Legal Business Blogs

KWM seeks to rebuild City private equity practice with Fried Frank hire

After suffering a series of raids on its renowned City private equity practice, including the announced departure of partner Simon Fulbrook earlier today (1 July), King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has sought to rebuild its flagship group with the hire of Laura Brunnen from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson.

With senior private equity heavyweights such as Steven Davis, Perry Yam and Richard Lever having deserted SJ Berwin’s renowned practice since its tie-up with KWM in 2013, Brunnen’s arrival will bolster depleting team. Before making partner at Fried Frank, Brunnen had stints as an associate at Kirkland & Ellis and Slaughter and May.

The firm is intent on rebuilding the practice following those exits, with the firm confirming earlier today that Simon Fulbrook will follow Lever to Goodwin Procter, and is seeking to follow up on Brunnen’s arrival with further hires. The firm has added 15 lateral partners in the past 12 months in the City, adding weight to its real estate practice with a string of hires from Eversheds including big-billing partner William Naunton.

William Boss, Europe and Middle East managing partner at King & Wood Mallesons, said: ‘We are continuing to actively pursue our growth agenda which includes strengthening our corporate team. Laura is a significant addition to that practice. Her quality and strength in the private equity area will support both the firm’s existing clients whilst exploiting new client growth opportunities in that market.’

Brunnen added: ‘Clients looking to take advantage of the increased flow of capital require an international firm with deep European and strong international expertise to help them unlock emerging opportunities in growth markets. The reputation of King & Wood Mallesons in those markets, combined with their corporate and private equity strength, perfectly complement and enhance my offering. Joining the firm represents a huge opportunity for me in being part of a dynamic and forward thinking business.~ Knowing I am part of the firm’s strategic plan to grow and develop their corporate practice is incredibly appealing, and I relish the opportunity to help take this vision forward.’