Kirkland opens in Texas with Simpson Thacher hire

PFM tracks private equity lawyer moves: Perkins Coie names its new PE head; Christopher Henry leaves Ropes & Gray; more.  

Kirkland & Ellis named energy-focused M&A lawyer Andrew Calder the first partner in its new Houston office, the firm’s seventh in the US and twelfth worldwide. Calder was previously a partner with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Reed Smith named leveraged finance partner Ben Davis to its London office. He was previously with Travers Smith.

Lowenstein Sandler named M&A lawyer Christopher Henry a partner in its New York office. He joins from Ropes & Gray where he had been a partner since 2006. 

Perkins Coie named Nate Ford chair of the firm's private equity practice. He succeeds Jim Cruger, a partner in the firm’s Chicago office. Ted Wern, also a partner in the firm’s Chicago office, will serve as vice chair. Ford, a deals specialist who has been with Perkins Coie since 2010, was previously with Faegre & Benson.

Morgan Lewis named M&A lawyer Stephen Walters as a London-based partner. He was previously a corporate partner at Bird & Bird.

Milbank named Michael “Ben” Garcia as special counsel in the firm’s global securities practice in New York. Garcia, who advises private equity firms and other clients in cross-border securities offerings, was previously a London-based lawyer with Herbert Smith Freehills.

K&L Gates added Jim Wu, a former general counsel with Yahoo! Asia Pacific, as a corporate partner in its Taipei and Palo Alto offices. Part of his focus will include corporate governance matters, private equity financing and M&A.

Walkers recruited funds lawyer Jason Allison from rival offshore law firm Carey Olsen, where he helped establish the group’s Cayman Islands office. Meanwhile joining Walkers’ Jersey office is Adam Chester as a partner in the firm’s finance and corporate group. Prior to joining Walkers, Chester founded CGI Legal, a provider of corporate legal services.

• Andrew Wilkinson joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges as a London-based partner. Wilkinson, who specializes in restructurings, had been with Goldman Sachs since 2007.

• Private equity cross-border deals lawyer Shirin Tang joined Morrison & Foerster as a corporate partner in Singapore. She was previously with Shearman & Sterling.

Manatt Phelps & Phillips named M&A and venture capital specialist Katherine Blair a Los Angeles-based partner. She was previously a partner at K&L Gates.

King & Wood Mallesons made 26 partner promotions over the last year. Among them is Munich-based partner Martin Brockhausen who focuses on fund formation; London-based partners David Fitzgerald and Joe Newitt who focus on M&A; and Paris-based partners William Robert and Pierre-Louis Sevegrand-Lions who also focus on M&A.

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