KWM plans to deepen Asia footprint

Peter Olds leaves Actis for Cleary Gottlieb; Dentons poaches Spanish vet from Clifford Chance; Kirkland & Ellis expands London office; and other private fund lawyer moves.  

• Dentons recruited Jesús Durán to lead its private equity practice in Spain. Durán joins after nine years at rival law firm Clifford Chance, where he advised national and international private equity clients on mergers and acquisitions and fund structuring. The hire is part of Dentons’ plan to significantly grow its private equity bench in Spain. Durán will be based in Madrid.

• Kirkland & Ellis added Matthew Elliott to the firm’s London office as a partner in the corporate practice group. Elliott joins from the financial sponsor group at Linklaters in London where he led the M&A real estate sector team with a focus on private equity.

• Former legal director at private equity firm Actis Peter Olds joined Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton as counsel in the firms’ fund formation practice. Olds, who joined Actis from Clifford Chance in 2009, is based in London.

• King & Wood Mallesons is continuing its global expansion with plans to open a Singapore office within the next three months. The practice will have an initial focus on international funds, energy and resources and China inbound and outbound work.

• Clifford Chance added DLA Piper’s Gianluca Bacchiocchi to strengthen its infrastructure practice in Latin America. Bacchiocchi focuses his practice on representing sponsors, issuers and underwriters in cross-border capital markets transactions with Latin America, including project bond financings, public and private issuances of asset-backed securities, private issuances of future-flow backed securities and high-yield debt issuances.

• Morrison Foerster promoted Thomas Knox to the role of co-head of the firm’s global corporate department and Nicholas Spiliotes as co-chair of the firm’s finance department. Both are based in the firm’s Washington, DC office.

• Elliot Hinds joined Crowell & Moring as a partner in the energy and corporate groups to expand the firm’s West Coast finance and transactional bench. Previously, Hinds was a partner in Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s global project finance group. He is based in Los Angeles.

• Sidley Austin bulked up its energy and M&A practices with the addition of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft partners Karen Dewis, Kenneth Irvin and Daryl Rice. Dewis represents public and private clients in connection with M&A, joint venture, spin-off and other strategic transactions, with a particular focus on the energy/commodities, financial services and general industrial sectors. Both Irvin and Rice focus on energy and commodities transactions, including energy trading and marketing, hedging and derivatives transactions.

• Milbank has opened a new office in Seoul, to be led by Milbank partner and Korean native Young Joon Kim. Kim was previously based in the firm’s Hong Kong office and served as managing partner of Milbank’s Tokyo office from 1997 to 2003. The firm also added to its East Asia capital markets, finance, and corporate practice with the arrival of David Kuo as partner in the firm’s Hong Kong office. Kuo joins from Allen & Overy, where he was a partner.

• Duane Morris appointed Ute Mueller as a partner in the firm’s corporate practice group in London. Mueller, who joins from Boodle Hatfield, represents businesses and entrepreneurs with domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, MBOs, MBIs and joint ventures.

• Peter Sternberg joined Venable as a new corporate partner in New York. Sternberg joins from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, where he advised on mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and other transactions. Formerly based in Paris and Milan, Sternberg has extensive experience working with European and US clients, particularly industrial and technology companies.

• Ropes & Gray partner Michelle Moran was appointed an officer of the International Bar Association’s Investment Funds Committee. The committee was established to support members on developments in the global investment funds sector. At Ropes & Gray, Moran works with European and US clients on the authorization and management of retail and institutional investment funds.

Know of any private fund lawyer career moves we might have missed? If so, email pfm reporter Katherine Bucaccio at