Legal manoeuvres: PE lawyers’ latest moves – May 2012

Private equity lawyers continue to abandon embattled law firm Dewey & Lebouf while Ropes & Gray has bolstered its Chicago private equity practice with the hire of a former Kirkland & Ellis lawyer.

· Goodwin Procter has hired Thomas Beaudoin from rival law firm WilmerHale where he was chair of the firm’s fund formation practice. Beaudoin, who specialises in venture capital and private equity funds, will sit in Goodwin’s Boston office.

· Moreover Ilan Nissan and Christian Nugent, two private equity lawyers from the quickly shrinking New York office of Dewey & Lebouf, have defected to Goodwin. The embattled New York law firm is reportedly attempting to stave off bankruptcy and is encouraging its partners to find work elsewhere. Dewey was not immediately available for comment.

· Speaking of which, O’Melveny & Myers has snagged a team of finance and M&A lawyers from Dewey. Richard Shutran, Junaid Chida, Arthur Hazlitt, Mark Caterini, and Dev Sen join  O’Melveny’s New York office as partners.

· Meanwhile Duane Morris has dipped into the Dewey & Lebouf talent pool, having recruited 16 lawyers from the firm. The recent hires include M&A lawyers Cameron Macrae and Thomas Redekopp in New York and Boston respectively; and financial services lawyer Oliver Rust in New York.

· Proskauer too has joined the hunt, having expanded its M&A practice in New York with the addition of former Dewey lawyer Lorenzo Borgogni.

· Likewise DLA Piper has added Dewey lawyers Joyce Chan, who specialises in insurance, and M&A lawyer Heng Loong, to its Hong Kong office.

· And finally: Kaye Scholer recently hired Dewey private equity deals lawyer John Fallon to its New York office. He brings with him former Dewey associate John Csuka.

· Ropes & Gray has poached Chicago-based private equity deals lawyer Matt Richards from rival law firm Kirkland & Ellis.

· Later this month Ropes will become formally licensed to practice Hong Kong law, which will enable the firm to “deliver a higher level of service across a full range of client needs in China, including private equity, M&A [and] public takeovers”, according to a statement. Marking the occasion will be the addition of M&A lawyer Julian Chung, previously with Norton Rose; and former Paul Weiss M&A lawyer Gary Li.

· M&A lawyer Jonathan Silverblatt has left Phillips Nizer to join the New York office of Dorsey & Whitney.

· Three Jones Day transactions lawyers, Joseph Lee, Jeffrey Maddox and David Neuville, have left to join the Hong Kong office of US law firm Cadwalader.

· New York law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has added Ling Huang to its Beijing office. Huang, who was previously with Shearman & Sterling, focusing on cross-border M&A, private equity, and foreign direct investment transactions.

· Duane Morris has also recently added private equity deals lawyer Piero Carbone to its London private equity practice. Carbone was previously with Kirkland & Ellis.

· US law firm Taylor Wessing has widened its presence to Central and Eastern Europe by merging with Austrian firm e|n|w|c.