Fried Frank snags top O'Melveny deals lawyer

James Learner rejoins Kirkland & Ellis; Dorsey & Whitney expands its investment regulation group; and other private fund lawyer moves.

• Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson hired Mark Lucas and Daniel Oates as partners in the M&A and private equity practice. Lucas, who will be based in New York, previously worked at Goldman Sachs as vice president and associate general counsel in the legal department while Oates, who will work in the London office, was a partner at O'Melveny & Myers and head of its London M&A practice.

• James Learner will rejoin Kirkland & Ellis as a partner in the firm’s corporate practice group in the London office, effective February 1. He returns after spending two years at private equity firm HGGC, though he previously worked with Kirkland for 25 years.

• Dorsey & Whitney expanded its private equity practice by adding Genna Garver, who will serve as chair of the firm's investment regulation group. Previously, Garver was counsel and co-chair of the investment regulation group at Greenberg Traurig.

• Squire Patton Boggs appointed John Hayward as a partner in its financial services practice. Hayward joins the firm from Simmons & Simmons, where he was a partner in the corporate banking practice.

• Gunderson Dettmer promoted Beijing-based venture capital attorney David Wang to partner. Wang specializes in the structuring, formation, organization and operation of international venture capital and private equity funds.

• Simmons & Simmons promoted Matthew Pitman to its partnership. Pitman is a London-based investment funds specialist focusing on all classes of private funds.

• Travers Smith appointed Dickson Minto's Donald Lowe as partner in its finance department. In his new role, Lowe will work on domestic and cross-border leveraged finance acquisitions and investments and will also advise clients on their debt facilities.

• Morgan Lewis added a team of 16, including 5 partners, to the firm’s Tokyo office from Bingham McCutchen. This adds to the firm’s existing 29 lawyers and staff in Tokyo. The former Bingham attorneys include investment management and regulatory partners Christopher Wells and Tomoko Fuminaga.

• Morrison & Foerster appointed 11 lawyers to the firm’s partnership, including lawyers from nine practice groups across seven offices. Among those promoted include Stephanie Thomas, based in the firm’s San Francisco and Sacramento offices, who focuses on private equity fund formation.

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