Legal manoeuvres: PE lawyers’ latest moves – March 2012

Ropes & Gray continues building its London private equity bench with lateral hires and Texas law firm Baker Botts recruits an experienced Russian private equity lawyer for its Moscow office.

PE Manager provides a round-up of the latest people moves and office openings within the private equity-focused legal community. See the links to your right for past coverage of private equity lawyer moves.

· White & Case partner Matthew Judd has joined the burgeoning London funds practice at Ropes & Gray. The US law firm launched the practice in March 2010, embarking on a number of lateral hires to build its European presence. Recent hires include Kirkland & Ellis tax partner John Baldry; transactions lawyer Peter Baldwin from Jones Day; and fellow deals lawyer Kiran Sharma from DLA Piper.

· Morrison & Foerster has recruited private equity lawyer Erik Knudsen from rival firm Kirkland & Ellis. Knudsen will sit in the firm’s Denver office and “work closely with the firm’s West and East Coast offices”.

· Texas law firm Baker Botts has appointed private equity lawyer Melinda Rishkofski to its Moscow office. Previously, Rishkofski was general counsel for Russian-based private equity firm Baring Vostok Capital Partners. Her experiences include working alongside Russian and Eastern European policymakers on privatisation plans, and drafting new regulations for the region’s securities market, according to a statement.

· US law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is to open an office in Hong Kong to complement its established Beijing outpost. Spearheading the new office opening will be Gregory Puff, a M&A lawyer pulled from Shearman & Sterling. He will be joined by M&A and investment funds lawyer Andrew Abernethy from Norton Rose.

· Offshore law firm Ogier has selected James Bergstrom as its legal chief executive officer. The position was previously held by Nick Kershaw, who leaves the post to concentrate more of his time as Ogier’s group chief executive.

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