New hires for Kirkland & Ellis, Lovells

The unprecedented churn rate of private equity lawyers continues with former Kirkland & Ellis associate Sam Pakbaz’s return to the firm after two years at a US hedge fund, while Lovells is rebuilding its private equity practice following the departure of Marco Compagnoni earlier this year.

International law firm Kirkland & Ellis has hired Sam Pakbaz in its corporate practice in London, where he will advise clients on leveraged buyout transactions, fund formations, mergers and acquisitions and disposals.
Pakbaz has rejoined Kirkland & Ellis having spent five years as an associate at the firm’s Chicago and London offices between 1995 and 2000.
Since then, Pakbaz spent four years as vice president of equity capital markets at Deutsche Bank in London, advising clients including Bain Capital, Goldman Sachs PIA, Thayer Capital, Vivendi and Softbank.
Pakbaz has joined Kirkland and Ellis from Shumway Capital, a US-based hedge fund where he was general counsel and managing director.
Pakbaz joined Kirkland & Ellis last week and will work alongside Graham White, the former global head of private equity at Linklaters, who left the firm in March, taking partner Raymond McKeeve with him.
Lovells, another law firm to have seen one of its private equity heads leave this year, is currently rebuilding its team. White & Case partner Alan Greenough will leave for Lovells’ London office later this year, replacing head of private equity Marco Compagnoni, who left to join Weil Gotshal & Manges in London with associate Jonathan Wood in February.
Greenough’s private equity clients at White & Case include 3i, Actis, EMP, ABN Amro Capital and Barclays Private Equity.

The increase in private equity activity has seen a number of defections by senior partners at law firms in the last year as demand for their experience and client contacts spirals. Most recently, Uwe Steininger, who resigned as head of SJ Berwin’s German activities late last year, has joined the Munich office of Hogan & Hartson. In March, the Manchester office of Pinsent Masons lost four lawyers, including founding partner Paul Johnson, to a rival team at Cobbets.