Legal manoeuvres: PE lawyers’ latest moves – August 2012

Perkins Coie has poached two names from rival K&L Gates while Mayer Brown has strengthened its private equity bench in Hong Kong.

· Donald Lepore, a private equity lawyer specialising in cleantech and renewable energy deals, has left private investment firm RNK Capital to join law firm Seyfarth Shaw.

· Bankruptcy lawyer Larren Nashelsky has been elected chair of law firm Morrison & Foerster. He succeeds Keith Wetmore in providing strategic direction and setting policy for the firm as chairman.

· US law firm Cooley opened its eleventh office in Los Angeles with four partner hires. Spearheading the office will be M&A lawyer David Hernand, who was previously co-chair of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s media, entertainment and technology practice. Also joining are venture capital lawyers David Young and Christopher Shoff, both formerly of DLA Piper; and Jennifer Massey, a former partner at Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein & Kohner who advises private companies on entertainment and technology matters.

· Mayer Brown’s Hong Kong office has poached James Fong from rival law firm Hogan Lovells. Fong’s areas of expertise include Hong Kong IPOs, M&A transactions and regulatory compliance.

· K&L Gates lawyers Bruce Zivian and Dennis Peterson have left the firm to join the Chicago office of Perkins Coie. Zivian represents venture capital and private equity funds during dealmaking while Peterson advises GPs on debt financing and general business matters.

· Dechert has added cross-border M&A lawyer David Cho to its Hong Kong office. Cho was previously with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

· Meanwhile, just months after opening a Hong Kong practice, Ropes & Gray said it plans to open an office in South Korea. The law firm has become the first foreign practice to gain permission from Korea’s Ministry of Justice to establish a presence in the country, according to a statement.

· In similar news, offshore law firm Bedell Cristin has opened an office in Singapore from which it will provide British Virgin Islands (BVI) legal services to clients throughout Asia. Heading the office will be Stephen Adams, who joined from peer law firm Barker Adams earlier this year.

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