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Covington nabs seven from O'Melveny

Partners Tim Clark and Loretta Shaw-Lorello are the first of seven PE specialists on their way over from O'Melveny & Meyers.

Covington & Burling has recruited Tim Clark and Loretta Shaw-Lorello to its New York office to build out the firm's US private equity practice. Both Clark and Shaw-Lorello previously worked in the private equity practice of Los Angeles-based firm O'Melveny & Myers; Clark was the firm's investment funds practice co-head.

The two are the first of seven attorneys from O'Melveny who will join the firm in the coming weeks. The remaining five will be counsel and associates; four will work out of the New York office and one will be stationed in Washington, DC to serve as a conduit for regulatory issues that might relate to the practice.

The moves will significantly strengthen Covington's US-based investment funds team, which had previously been much smaller than the firm's UK-based practice. Before the arrival of Clark and Shaw-Lorello, the US team comprised just one full-time partner and two part-time partners.

?Our focus will be filling out different geographies as well as adding ancillary pieces to the investment funds practice, to further expand our full-service practice that will focus on everything that our alternative asset clients might do,? says Clark.

Clark and Shaw-Lorello's relationship with Covington goes back many years, Clark says; both had friends and colleagues who worked there, and both had been ?great admirers? of the firm. Over the years, the two saw Covington's private equity practice and their own developing in complimentary ways.

?What's nice is that Covington, prior to us coming, did a lot of secondary and LP work, while we bring to the table a big GP sponsor representation side,? Clark says. ?So it's a natural fit between what we're doing here in the US and what they're doing in the US and out of London.?

The two are expected to bring with them approximately a dozen clients, said a spokeswoman for the firm, with current funds ranging in size from $100 million to more than $500 million. The New York Law Journal reports that Clark's past clients have included CCMP Capital, Eos Capital Partners, Tishman Speye and JPMorgan Capital.

Both Clark and Shaw-Lorello were formerly partners at New York private equity law firm O'Sullivan, which O'Melveny acquired in 2002. Several former O'Sullivan attorneys have left O'Melveny in the past few years.

Davis Polk adds Beijing partner
The global law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell has announced the appointment of Howard Zhang as a partner in the Beijing office. Zhang will advise clients on cross-border securities, M&A and strategic investment transactions. He joins the firm from O'Melveny & Myers, where he was managing partner of their Beijing office. Zhang, a former diplomat in the Chinese government, has worked with private equity firms, venture capital funds, investment banks and multinational corporations. Since opening its Beijing office February 2007, the firm has advised the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) on its $21.6 billion dual-listed initial public offering, the largest Chinese IPO in history. Davis Polk also advised ICBC on a $3.78 billion investment by Goldman Sachs, Allianz Group and American Express. ?Our Beijing office already has represented issuers and underwriters in many important and frequently ground-breaking offerings, as well as a number of large M&A transactions,? Show-Mao Chen, Davis Polk partner and head of the Beijing office, said in a statement. ?Howard's arrival is a key step in building on these assignments. In particular, Howard significantly bolsters our M&A and private equity capabilities in China.?

Morgan Lewis nabs Debevoise partner in Paris
Global law firm Morgan Lewis has announced the addition of Ann Baker ? formerly the Paris head of the private equity fund formation practice at Debevoise & Plimpton ? as a partner in its business and finance practice, resident in the firm's Paris office. Baker will join the firm's private investment funds group, and focus on building out the firm's Paris practice. ?Morgan Lewis has a much larger base than Debevoise has in the US with about 1400 lawyers, and also very great ambitions to continue their development internationally,? Baker says. ?So that's a very exciting thing I think for the firm and people like me who are joining.? Baker has more than 25 years of international experience, having worked in New York, Prague and Paris, and over ten years of experience in fund formation. She represents sponsors of and investors in a broad range of international private equity and other private investment funds. In particular, she advises European and US fund sponsors on multi-jurisdictional offerings to a diverse international institutional investor base. In the company's statement on the hire, the firm noted that her arrival reunites Baker with London-based funds partner Saloni Joshi, who joined the firm from Debevoise late last summer.

Fulbright boosts expertise in Islamic finance
The global law firm Fulbright & Jaworski has announced the appointment of Michael McMillen as head of firm's Islamic finance practice. McMillen joins Fulbright as a partner and will work primarily from Fulbright's New York and Middle East locations in Riyadh and Dubai, as well as spend time in the London office. He is currently chair of the Islamic Law Forum, a division of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association, and teaches a course on the topic at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He lived and practiced in Saudi Arabia for four years, spent several years in London and has served as counsel in the structuring and implementation of Islamic finance products and structures to various Middle Eastern, European and US financial institutions. ?Michael brings a vast knowledge of Islamic financing that is highly compatible with our existing finance and projects practices and the current work we are doing in the Middle East,? Steven Pfeiffer, the chair of Fulbright's Executive Committee, said in statement.

Sidley Austin adds six to PE team
Sidley Austin has added six attorneys to its private equity practice in Chicago. The firm has hired M&A vet Sy Peck away from Schiff Hardin, along with his colleagues Jeffrey Smith, Roger Wilen, Dirk Andringa, Alexis Cooper and Nancy Kasko. All six have significant experience representing private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies, as well as a range of corporate transactions, including LBOs, equity investments, add-on acquisitions, divestitures, public offerings, recapitalizations and restructurings. ?These are six exceptionally talented and successful lawyers in the private equity arena and they will make valuable contributions to our private equity team,? Fred Lowinger, co-head of the firm's M&A and private equity practice, said in a statement. ?Our new colleagues will be an integral part of our efforts to expand the scope and depth of our services to the private equity community.?

McDermott brings in three PE partners
McDermott Will & Emery has hired three partners to its New York office. Peter Rooney and Todd Finger have joined the firm's M&A and private equity practices, and Vladimir Rossman has joined its finance & banking and private equity practices. All three partners come from US law firm McKee Nelson. Rooney has represented private equity firms and US and multinational corporations in acquisitions and sales of public and private companies and in joint ventures. Rossman has represented buyout groups, investment and commercial banks, central banks, and private and public companies in high-visibility, US and cross-border financings, including financings of private equity buyers, brokerage financings, securitizations, restructurings and workouts. Finger focuses his practice on mergers, stock and asset purchases and sales, LBOs, venture capital investments, joint ventures, restructurings and recapitalizations.

Addleshaw adds two to funds team
Addleshaw Goddard has hired two to its funds practice, bringing the team to 14. Christy Stagemeyer joins as a partner. Stagemeyer comes from Bank of America in New York, where she was lead counsel for the alternative investments group specializing in hedge and private equity funds. Before, she was special counsel at Schulte Roth & Zabel. David Ive joins as a consultant. He comes from Mayer Brown International, where he was a funds and tax partner specializing in leading edge structures. ?The recruitment of Christ and David expands our offering in areas such as hedge and private equity fund formation and structured finance. It will have a direct impact on the firm's existing practices, particularly our significant private equity and structured real estate, corporate finance and projects practices,? corporate division managing partner Paul Devitt said in a statement.