Legal training

As it prepares to go public, Evercore Partners has nabbed an in-house attorney from a railroad company.

It's becoming more and more complicated being Evercore Partners – good thing the merchant bank is hiring full-time legal help.

The New York-based firm, which operates a private equity as well as investment banking boutique, last month hired Adam Frankel as a senior managing director and general counsel. The position of general counsel is a new one for Evercore, founded in 1996.

Frankel joins the firm from Genesee & Wyoming, a major operator of freight railroads. Before that he worked at Ford Motor Company. These would seem odd training grounds for a financial services industry lawyer, until one considers that Frankel joined Ford in 1999 from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, one of the premier law firms in the private equity space. He went to Stanford Law School.

At Evercore, Frankel, 38, will oversee all legal, compliance and risk management issues for the firm. It could use the expertise – Evercore has filed to go public. Unlike most legal professionals in this industry, Frankel will have the unenviable task of overseeing a private equity program within the context of a publicly traded company.

It would appear that Evercore will not limit its in-house legal team to one man. In a statement, Frankel said: ?I look forward to joining Evercore and working to establish and expand the firm's in-house legal department.?

Evercore, founded by former US deputy treasury secretary Roger Altman and former Blackstone partner Austin Beutner, has a thriving M&A advisory business and a solid middle-market investment business. The firm raised its last fund in 2003 on more than $660 million. The firm also has an early stage venture business. Add to this a joint venture in India, and it's clear that Frankel and team have their work cut out for them.

Hogan & Hartson hires PE pro to lead international push
Uwe Steininger, formerly of SJ Berwin in Munich, Germany, has joined the Munich office of Washington, D.C.-based international law firm Hogan & Hartson as a partner. This hiring comes after the arrival of corporate and M&A partner Jochen Schaefer in Munich late last year, and is part of a plan for the firm to deepen its international private equity practice. ?As our client base increasingly focuses on global investment opportunities, our team needs to expand to meet these demands,? said Jeffrey Hurlburt, co-head of Hogan's European private equity and venture capital practice, in a statement. ?We are pleased that Dr. Steininger will play a key part in our continuing efforts to expand our international practice in this area.? Steininger specializes in the areas of private equity and venture capital as well as alternative investments, including fund structurings, venture capital investments and buyouts. Hogan & Hartson operates 23 offices worldwide, employing more than 1,000 lawyers.

Munsell and Saltarelli rise at Sidley Austin
Law firm Sidley Austin has promoted James Munsell and Gabriel Saltarelli – both based at the firm's New York office – to partner. Munsell is a partner in the firm's pooled investment entities practice, where he advises and represents investment advisors and collective investment funds on corporate, securities, and regulatory matters. Saltarelli is a partner in the corporate mergers and acquisitions practice, focusing on private equity. He advises clients on such M&A transactions as public company mergers, purchases and sales of private companies, and the formation and disposition of joint ventures. Both rose from positions as associates at the firm. Sidley Austin has approximately 1,600 lawyers and 15 offices in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Kirkland & Ellis hires cross-border acquisition finance pro
Global law firm Kirkland & Ellis has brought Wolfgang Nardi on board at its Munich office as a senior associate focusing on banking and finance. Nardi is a specialist in the field of crossborder acquisition finance and corporate loans in the national market. ?The addition of Wolfgang to our finance team will expand our German transaction practice into the growing area of acquisition finance,? said Volker Kullman, founding partner at Kirkland's Munich office, in a statement. Nardi formerly worked for Clifford Chance in Munich and Linklaters Oppenhoff & Rödler in Frankfurt. Kirkland & Ellis is a 1,100-attorney law firm worldwide, with 12 attorneys in its Munich office.

New partners at Davis Polk & Wardell
Global corporate law firm Davis Polk & Wardell announced eight new partners in July. They include Rachel Kleinberg, a tax lawyer for corporate and private equity clients; Marc Williams, a corporate lawyer concentrating on mergers and acquisitions for private equity and corporate clients; and Luigi De Ghengi, a corporate lawyer whose focus is advising financial institutions on securities, mergers, and other issues. The firm currently has 151 partners in total in its offices in New York, Washington, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Menlo Park, New Jersey.

Proskauer adds to PE transactions practice
Proskauer Rose, whose private equity group is composed of 100 professionals in its US and Paris office combined, just hired two more private equity transaction specialists at its New York office. Daniel Eisner, who brings experience in private equity and complex corporate transactions, has joined as a partner, and Nigel Austin, whose practice also focuses in the same area, has joined as senior counsel. Both come from Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where Eisner was a partner and Austin was counsel. ?Dan's unique blend of transactional experience from an investment and legal perspective will be a huge asset to what is already one of the nation's top private equity practices,? said Ron Papa, chair of Proskauer's corporate department, in a statement. ?Together with Dan and Nigel, we will continue to expand our national and international presence to accommodate the diverse needs of a dynamic and expanding private equity market.? Proskauer employs attorneys in seven domestic offices, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Boston, Boca Raton, Newark, and New Orleans, as well as in Paris.

International M&A pro joins Ropes & Gray
William Kim has joined Ropes & Gray's international practice group as a partner in its New York office. Kim will advise international companies in corporate mergers and acquisitions, among other issues, particularly clients based in Korea and other Asian countries. Kim came from Alston & Bird, where he focused on representing Korean multinational corporations, and before that he was managing director and general counsel of the Daewoo Group in Korea. ?Ropes & Gray has made substantial inroads in the dynamic market for legal services in the Far East,? said Cary Armistead, co-head of Ropes & Gray's International Practice group, in a statement. ?Bill brings a new dimension to our capacity to provide the complete menu of services to our clients in that part of the world.?

Morgan Lewis takes Bullitt
Georgia Bullitt has joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius as a partner in its securities and investment management practices, where she will concentrate on equity sales and trading, as well as securities, derivatives, and private wealth management. Before coming to Morgan Lewis, Bullitt was executive director and global general counsel for Morgan Stanley's private high-net-worth business and senior counsel for Morgan Stanley's retail capital markets and alternative investment groups. Previously, she was Morgan Stanley's senior equity derivatives counsel. Morgan Lewis has more than 1,200 lawyers in 20 offices internationally.

Orrick welcomes Backos
Corporate lawyer Antonio Backos has joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe as a partner in its New York office. Backos has experience representing companies and investment banks in private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and other matters, as well as expertise in maritime industry transactions. He previously worked at Weil, Gotshal & Manges in London, and was a partner at Healy & Baillee in New York. Backos is the eighth lateral partner to be added in Orrick's New York office in the past three months. ?As a New York lawyer with deep experience representing foreign private issuers in the United States, Tony Backos offers an important service to our European and Asian clients seeking to tap the US capital markets,? said Mark Levie, managing director of transactional practices at Orrick, in a statement. Orrick's 16 offices worldwide employ more than 850 lawyers in litigation, finance, and corporate transactions.