PE law ‘pioneer’ joins O’Melveny & Myers

Jonathan Blake spent almost 35 years at King and Wood Mallesons.

Jonathan Blake, founder of the private equity funds practice at King and Wood Mallesons, is joining O’Melveny & Myers.

“After nearly 35 years at SJ Berwin/KWM and following its recent troubles, I am delighted now to be joining O’Melveny & Myers. I will be working alongside former colleagues from SJ Berwin days John Daghlian in London and James Ford in Hong Kong,” Blake said.

Blake, head of KWM’s international funds practice, is considered one of the pioneers of the legal market for investment funds in Europe. He was recognised by Private Equity International as one of the most 100 influential people in private equity.

In the late 1980s he negotiated the guidelines for the use of limited partnerships as venture capital investment funds with the UK’s Inland Revenue and Department of Trade and Industry.

That work paved the way for the use of limited partnerships in European fund structures and started a new legal industry, and he subsequently negotiated the original tax treatment for venture capital trusts with the Inland Revenue in 1995.

His appointment to the O’Melveny & Myers investment funds group follows that of partners Eve Ellis and Andrew Weiler.

The European arm of KWM, which is on the brink of bankruptcy, issued a second notice of intention to appoint administrators on Tuesday.