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McDermott hires London M&A partner from Cooley as global revenue nears $2bn mark

McDermott has announced today (28 February) that Michal Berkner has joined the firm as a partner, bolstering its transactions practice in London.

She joins from Cooley, where she led the cross-border M&A practice, including negotiated and unsolicited transactions and joint ventures. Her clients include strategic and private equity buyers and sellers in public and private transactions.

Recommended in The Legal 500 for her work on mid-market deals, Berkner’s experience sits within the life sciences, healthcare and technology sectors.

Her recent mandates include advising clinical-stage biotech company VectivBio on its acquisition by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals in a deal valued at around $1bn. She also advised Redx Pharma, another clinical-stage biotech company, on its all share merger with Jounce Therapeutics in a $425m contingent value right transaction.

Hamid Yunis, London managing partner, commented: ‘She is an accomplished partner with an impressive reputation. Additionally, her practice provides tremendous synergies with our M&A, private equity and life sciences groups both in the UK and across our international network. She will also be instrumental in helping to grow our global M&A practice.’

Berkner is dual qualified in New York and England & Wales.

The hire coincides with McDermott’s release of its firmwide financial performance for the calendar year 2023 last week. It revealed a 6% increase in revenue to $1.9bn, just shy of reaching the $2bn mark and slightly slower than the previous year’s 9% revenue growth. Meanwhile, profit per equity partner experienced a double-digit surge of 13% to $3.8m, surpassing last year’s 9% rise.

Chair Ira Coleman expressed optimism for the year ahead: ‘McDermott delivered strong financial results and our multi-year, cross-border growth continued in 2023. With our innovative management model, we’re focused on making industry-leading, strategic investments in our business from talent to technology, AI and infrastructure. These investments allow us to meet our client’s demands for excellence with focused teams and creative, business-first solutions.’

In London, the firm suffered a setback last week as Tom Whelan, the head of its private equity and corporate transactions group, departed to join Reed Smith. However, towards the end of last year, McDermott made a strategic hire by bringing in Rob Marshall from King & Spalding to lead its executive compensation and benefits group.