Clifford Chance names PE head replacement

PE Manager tracks private equity lawyer moves: Clifford Chance promotes a Frankfurt partner to replace David Walker as private equity head; Davis Polk lands a former FTC chairman; and more.

· Magic circle firm Clifford Chance named Frankfurt partner Oliver Felsenstein as global head of private equity, PE Manager has confirmed. He succeeds David Walker who ended his 13-year career with the firm to join US-headquartered Latham & Watkins earlier this year. Felsenstein, who represents private equity clients including HgCapital and PAI Partners, joined Clifford in 2006 from legacy firm Lovells. 

· Former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Jon Leibowitz, joined the Washington DC office of Davis Polk & Wardwell. Leibowitz, who served as FTC head from 2009 to 2013, will advise clients on antitrust matters. 

· Nathan Kutt has stepped down from his role as general counsel for BankCap Partners, a private equity firm specializing in the financial services industry, to join Hunton & Williams. Based in Miami Kutt will provide counsel on bank regulatory matters, capital and acquisition strategies, operational issues, and controlling and passive private equity investments. 

· Dechert has poached Paris-based private equity deals lawyer Matthieu Grollemund from Orrick Herrington & Suttcliffe. 

· Also leaving Orrick is funds lawyer James Mercadante, who joined the New York office of Reed Smith.

· Squire Sanders boosted its Russia private equity practice with the addition of Anton Rogoza, an M&A lawyer previously with Goltsblat BLP. 

· Robinson & Cole has expanded its private equity practice with three hires along the East Coast. Joining the New York office is Stephen Hanson, a deals lawyer previously at DLA Piper and once global co-chair of Dorsey & Whitney’s private equity practice. In Boston the firm has hired former Foley Hoag lawyer Eileen Smith Ewing, who specializes in biomedical and pharmaceutical deals. And in Connecticut the firm hired Mitchell Lampert, who focuses on public and private securities offerings and reverse mergers. He was previously general counsel for a digital media company, according to a statement. 

· Private equity tax lawyer Jeremy Naylor joined Cooley’s New York office. He was previously with White & Case. 

· In Hong Kong K&L Gates added Virginia Tam as a partner in the corporate and transactional practice and Sacha Cheong as counsel in the litigation and dispute resolution practice. Tam was previously with White & Case while Cheong comes from Clifford Chance.

· Cross-border transactions lawyer Chen Li joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Li, who specializes in China deals, was previously with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.

· North Carolina tech-focused lawyer Robert Tyler joined Williams Mullen as a partner in the firm's corporate and private equity law practice. Most recently, he was partner at Poyner Spruill.

· Offshore law firm Walkers promoted six lawyers to partner, three of which are from the investment funds practice: Melissa Lim from the Cayman Islands, Jasmine Amaria from London and Laura Rogers from Singapore. 

Know of any private equity lawyer career moves we might have missed? If so, email PEM editor Nicholas Donato at