Matchmaker, matchmaker

Foley & Lardner offers a new online tool to source deals for GPs, and vice versa

The law firm Foley & Lardner has launched a proprietary online software application called Private Equity Matchmaker to link what the firm refers to as ?seekers? and ?sources? of private equity. ?Seekers? are any Foley clients around the world looking for capital, and ?sources? are those actively pursuing private equity investment opportunities. This past summer, associates at the firm compiled data on private equity firms' investment criteria from sources that ranged from the web to one-on-one interviews with GPs. Their findings were then loaded into a database, along with the details of any clients looking for capital, from the full range of the firm's practice groups.

The application automatically evaluates the current group of seekers and sources in the system, searching for criteria matches according to transaction size, development stage, geographic region and industry. When matches are made, the application sends an email notifying the relevant attorneys of the match. It also ranks the quality of the match, by tallying the number of matches between parties and noting it on a five-chili-pepper scale to gauge its ?hotness.? The application also bridges the distance between offices across the ocean, as an intellectual property client with a new semiconductor in Tokyo could be paired with an early stage venture capital firm in San Francisco.

its ?hotness.? The application also bridges the distance between offices across the ocean, as an intellectual property client with a new semiconductor in Tokyo could be paired with an early stage venture capital firm in San Francisco.

As philanthropic as all this sounds, the software remains a novel way of producing opportunities that bloom into billable hours. Everyone knows that today's matchmaker is often tomorrow's rainmaker.

Fleet's in at Kaye Scholer
Corporate lawyer Stuart Fleet will join global law firm Kaye Scholer as a partner in its London office. Fleet, formerly a partner at UK law firm Eversheds, joins another recent hire in the London office, attorney Tim Spangler. Both add to the firm's practices in public and private mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and investment funds, among other specialties. ?Stuart has an active practice in complex public and private mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, restructurings and joint ventures,? said managing partner Barry Willner in a statement. ?He will play an active role in further developing the firm's mergers and acquisitions practice, which has been a prominent strategic goal of our firm.?

Nixon Peabody names new chief of LBO group

Nixon Peabody continues to expand aggressively its private equity practice with the addition of two new partners from King & Spalding. Dominick DeChiara joins the firm from King & Spalding's New York of-fice, where he served as one of the leaders of their private equity & investment funds practice group. DeChiara has been appointed the leader of the leveraged buyout group, which consists of approximately thirty partners firm-wide, with ten partners working in New York. The firm also appointed Bradley Vaiana a partner, who served as member of King & Spalding's private equity & investment funds practice. The two appointments come in the wake of two other attorneys joining the LBO practice, as Jane Greyf and James Kelly hired within the past two months.

Barsky joins Jones Day
Private equity attorney Dennis Barsky, a former partner in the New York office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, has joined the New York office of international law firm Jones Day as a partner. Barsky's practice represents private equity funds, financial institutions and large corporations in mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, private equity and general corporate matters. He also worked for two years on cross-border transactions from the Singapore market. Jones Day employs more than 2,200 attorneys, with more than 400 in Europe and 175 in Asia, and is one of the largest law firms in the world.

Gibson Dunn hires capital markets partner
Law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher announced that Dorothee Fischer-Appelt has been hired in its London office. She has experience with a range of US and international capital markets transactions, as well as cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and restructurings. At the law firms Allen & Overy's London office and Sullivan & Cromwell's New York office, Fischer-Appelt has represented issuers, sellers and underwriters in equity and debt financings, including initial public offerings in several European countries. She is qualified to practice law in the US and UK, and can speak fluent German, which will aid her work in Austrian, Swiss and German transactions at Gibson Dunn.

Dewey and Orrick on track to merge
Global corporate law firms Dewey Ballantine and Orrick and Herrington & Sutcliffe announced that their respective management and executive committees have made initial recommendations to their partners about merging into a combined firm to be called Dewey Orrick. Orrick's chairman, Ralph Baxter, and Dewey's chairman, Morton Pierce, will be co-chairmen in the new firm, with Baxter as presiding partner. The new firm would employ 1,500 in 21 offices in North America, Europe and Asia, and the firm would have the seventh-largest New York office of any law firm in the world. The firm would continue to have active practices in antitrust, intellectual property, corporate fraud, securities and international trade.

Clifford Chance signs another regulator
Simon Gleeson has joined the financial institutions regulatory practice at London-based international law firm Clifford Chance as a partner. The practice advises on regulatory and compliance issues for private equity firms and other fund managers as well as banks, insurance companies and listed corporations. Gleeson has been with rival law firm Allen & Overy since 1998. During his time there, he spent two years on secondment at the Financial Services Authority (FSA), where he worked on the implementation in the UK of comprehensive market conduct rules. Gleeson will join the same team that last month announced the hire of Carlos Conceicao as director of regulatory enforcement. Conceicao, who joins the firm in January 2007, is currently head of the FSA's wholesale group in enforcement, which investigates and takes action against firms in cases of insider trading and market manipulation.

Goodwin Procter adds to private equity team
Washington, DC-based law firm Goodwin Procter added six attorneys to the private equity group in June. Chris Hagan, James Hutchinson and J. Hovey Kemp are the firm's new partners and will work in its Washington office. All three proffesionals have experience in corporate, securities and private equity transactional law and specialise in buyouts, recapitalizations and portfolio company transactions in the technology, healthcare, business services, media education, industrial manufacturing and consumer products sectors, the firm said in a statement. Frank Bacelli, Seung Baik and Joshua Klatzkin join the firm as associates in the firm's Boston, New York and San Francisco offices. Goodwin Proctor has worked in the private equity industry since the 1960s and currently has more than 100 attorneys working in the Americas and in Europe.

Debt expert joins Hammonds
Hammonds, a law firm with of-fices across Europe and Asia, has lured David Sachs from rival Cameron McKenna to work as a partner in its London banking team. Sachs, who joins existing banking partners Graeme Carney and Gywneth Macaulay, spent seven years in the leveraged finance team at Cameron McKenna. In a statement, Carney said Sachs ?has a wide range of experience in debt fi-nance deals, both nationally and internationally, and, in particular, he has extensive expertise in acquisition finance transactions supporting corporate and private equity departments?.

Ogier adds three partners
The Ogier Group, which recently announced a merger with WSmiths, has appointed three new partners; Philip Le Cornu, Nick Ward and Simon Schlider. Le Cornu and Ward will be based in New Jersey and will be part of the Ogier Group. They will officially join the firm on February 1, 2007. Based in the British Virgin Islands, Schlider will join WSmiths on December 1, 2006 and will join Ogier's BVI practice on February 1, 2007 following the merger's completion, Ogier said in a statement. Le Cornu joined Ogier in 2000. As a member of the firm's business and trust law group, he advises private and commercial trusts and employee benefit and pension schemes, the statement said. Ward joined the firm in April 2002 and advises corporate and finance transactions. Schindler joined WSmiths in 2004 and specialises in corporate, mergers and acquisitions, banking and corporate finance and funds. He is a senior member of WSmith's funds group.