Legal Business

Targeting London: Fried Frank hires O’Melveny & Myers private equity partner

Targeting London: Fried Frank hires O’Melveny & Myers private equity partner

US firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson has enhanced its private equity practice in London with the hire of partner Daniel Oates from O’Melveny & Myers.

Oates advises private equity and corporate clients on a range of multi-jurisdictional transactions, including acquisitions and leveraged buyouts, disposals, public-to-private transactions and initial public offerings.

Prior to his stint at O’Melveny, Oates was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis and has previously represented major houses including Accel KKR, Apollo Group, Apax Partners, Audax Group, Avis Budget, Bain Capital.

London managing partner Graham White, who recently joined Fried Frank from Kirkland & Ellis, said: ‘I am thrilled to have Dan join me as we work with others to expand our private equity practice in London and Europe.’

Fried Frank has simultaneously strengthened its private equity offering in its New York office, hiring Mark Lucas, formerly vice president and associate general counsel at Goldman Sachs. He served in the lender’s merchant banking division focusing on private equity transactions, including M&A and capital raisings as well as other principal investments made by Goldman, and was also previously an associate at Fried Frank 2004 to 2010.

For O’Melveny, the departure of Oates follows the exit of a six-partner team to Latham & Watkins in November, including high profile London-based partner Libby Savill, who was tasked with launching the firm’s UK media practice. The firm, however, has pledged to grow its City base, and speaking to Legal Business, Solomon Wifa, head of O’Melveny’s London office and a member of the investment funds practice, says: ‘We certainly need to bulk up in London and we’d like to increase our transactions capability. Restructuring and finance are also areas we’re looking at. We’re haven’t been on the same trajectory as a lot of firms but we are still interested in growing London.’

Legal Business

Media attention: Latham & Watkins hires six-partner team from O’Melveny & Myers

Media attention: Latham & Watkins hires six-partner team from O’Melveny & Myers

US firm Latham & Watkins continues its aggressive hiring strategy with the recruitment of a six-partner team from O’Melveny & Myers, including the firm’s entertainment, sports and media group head Joseph Calabrese and high profile London-based partner Libby Savill.

On the US side, Calabrese and partners Christopher Brearton, Robert Haymer, Nancy Bruington and Kenneth Deutsch are set to join the firm.

Savill had joined O’Melveny from Olswang two years ago and was tasked with launching the firm’s UK media practice. She specialises in commercial work for major studios, independent producers, independent distributors and television content providers, and is also deputy chair of the British Film Institute.

She is the latest heavyweight to join the London office in a series of hires since 2013. Others include Macfarlanes environmental specialist Paul Davies, Nick Benson from Weil Gotshal & Manges; David Walker and Kem Ihenacho from Clifford Chance; Lucy Oddy from Berwin Leighton Paisner; and Tom Alabaster from The Carlyle Group. The office now has over 250 fee-earners including 65 partners.

O’Melveny & Myers, meanwhile, yesterday (11 November) named partners Stephen Scharf, Matthew Erramouspe, and Bruce Tobey as the new transactional co-heads of its entertainment, sports and media practice.

In a statement, the firm said: ‘Stephen, Matthew, and Bruce, together with our leading entertainment litigators, are furthering a legacy laid down by John O’Melveny, Deane Johnson, Donald Petroni, and others. Today, entertainment companies are facing an expanding global market and a changing digital media landscape, and O’Melveny’s award-winning entertainment lawyers are poised to help them achieve their goals.’

Latham & Watkins declined to comment.

Legal Business

‘A true litigator’: O’Melveny & Myers hires Asian heavyweight Denis Brock from King & Wood Mallesons

‘A true litigator’: O’Melveny & Myers hires Asian heavyweight Denis Brock from King & Wood Mallesons

Litigation partner Denis Brock, who headed Clifford Chance’s Asian disputes practice for nine years, has swapped King & Wood Mallesons for US firm O’Melveny & Myers.

Brock, who joined King & Wood Mallesons four years ago, will become the fifth partner in O’Melveny & Myers’ Hong Kong office when he joins on 1 October and the first full time disputes partner, with arbitration specialist Friven Yeoh currently splitting his time between Hong Kong and Singapore.

Brock, who spent 24 years with Clifford Chance but left shortly after losing out to Jeremy Sandelson in the race to become global head of litigation in 2009, handles both litigation and arbitration, specialising in shareholder disputes, professional negligence claims, banking litigation and fraud investigations. He is admitted to practise law in England and Wales, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and New York and joins the firm’s business trial and litigation practice in a boost to the firm’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) capability in Asia at a time when US authorities are looking to step up bribery investigations.

Bradley Butwin, chair of O’Melveny & Myers, said: ‘He is well known in the Hong Kong and London legal communities as a true litigator, committed to serving clients in a wide range of their most pressing legal matters. His addition is further evidence of O’Melveny’s commitment to growing strategically in the region.’

King & Wood Mallesons said in a statement: ‘We confirm Denis Brock is retiring from King & Wood Mallesons Hong Kong.  Our strategy is to maintain and build the talent and capability in dispute resolution to support our leading brand in the Asia Pacific region.  We do not believe that his departure from the firm affects that strategy.’

Legal Business

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.