Goodwin Procter eyes future London PE hires

The US-based law firm is building its London-based private equity practice.

US-based law firm Goodwin Procter expects to make additional hires to its new London-based private equity team within a year.

Speaking to Private Equity International following the hire of Simon Fulbrook from King & Wood Mallesons to join its new team, David Evans said, “I’d be disappointed if we’ve not added to the team in the next twelve months. We are looking to build out more in the transaction space.”

At the same time as Fulbrook’s appointment, the firm announced in early July that it had hired James Barrett as partner and Edward Amer as counsel to work on its private equity team in its Boston office. They joined from Locke Lord, where Barrett was co-chair of its private equity and venture capital practice.

Fulbrook joins Goodwin as a leveraged finance partner. His appointment follows the firm’s announcement in April that it had hired Richard Lever from KWM where he co-led the corporate group, to head up its new London-based private equity practice.

Paul Lyons, who joined Goodwin from Travers Smith when it launched its real estate practice and specialises in leveraged finance, will also work on private equity mandates, Evans said.

“The private equity world is a small pool of successful lawyers and for us that means it’s tricky [to hire],” Evans noted. “We are not going to build our team around one person.”

The London team will focus on mid-market clients and leverage the relationships of its established US private equity business and its brand, as well as serve the needs of its US clients in Europe, Evans said. Globally, Goodwin’s private equity practice is comprised of more than 100 lawyers.

“We are focusing on what we are good at in the States, playing in that pool rather than competing for mega-buyouts,” Evans said.

Goodwin’s London office was established in 2011 with an initial focus on building a real-estate practice, which now has a 30-lawyer team.

“We have taken that model and applied that approach to the private equity world. Private equity is a high margin, lucrative industry and we are focusing on it intensively,” Evans said.