Six months after losing its private equity co-chair Christian Atwood to Kirkland & Ellis, Choate, Hall & Stewart has added seasoned in-house attorney Susan Yoon Parker as a partner in its private equity and finance and restructuring groups in Boston.
“I am truly thrilled to be joining the Choate team and to be returning to private practice,” Parker said in a statement.
“This is an exciting time for the firm—it’s already deep and well-respected private equity practice is growing quickly,” added Parker, who was unavailable to comment on her move.
Parker began her legal career at Ropes & Gray nearly a decade ago as an associate in its private equity transactions group, where she represented private equity firms and portfolio companies on corporate matters, leveraged buyouts, M&A and other investments.
In 2015, she became senior legal counsel at global management consulting firm The Boston Consulting Group before joining middle-market private equity investor Audax Group as senior counsel a year later.
Earlier this year, Parker became interim managing director and counsel at Boston-based John Hancock Financial Services.
“[Parker’s] extensive in-house experience will enable her to bring a unique mix of commercial and technical skills to our clients as they navigate the challenges of financing transactions,” longtime Choate partner and newly appointed private equity co-chairman Lee Feldman said in a statement. “The timing couldn’t be better as Choate’s private equity group continues to experience significant growth from both longstanding clients and significant new client additions.”
Choate, a Boston-based firm founded in the 1898, saw its gross revenue increase 7 percent in 2017 to $236 million.
With its sole office in Boston and a head count of only 163 attorneys, Choate posted profits per partner of $2.31 million last year, placing it among the top 30 Am Law firms and just slightly below its Beantown rival Ropes & Gray, which boasted $2.32 million profits per equity partner.
Choate brought in $1.45 million in revenue per lawyer in 2017, trumped only by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Sullivan & Cromwell, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Kirkland & Ellis.
In an interview with The American Lawyer in 2016, Choate co-managing partner Charles Cheever said the firm was blessed with high demand from its core practice areas: private equity and M&A, finance and restructuring; life sciences and technology; litigation, including IP and insurance; and wealth management.
Competition among Boston law firms to capture private equity work and talent has been in overdrive for several years and has prompted some Am Law 100 firms to set up shop in Boston.
Kirkland & Ellis opened up in May 2017 in the city’s Bay Back neighborhood with three private equity partners from New York and Chicago. Since then the firm’s office has expanded to over 40 attorneys, including notable lateral hires such as Atwood and Ranesh Ramanathan, the former deputy general counsel of longtime Kirkland client Bain Capital LP.
Ropes & Gray, which has long competed with Kirkland for the title of Bain’s go-to firm, saw Christopher Greene, co-lead of its global private equity and hedge fund SEC enforcement and litigation group, named as Bain’s new managing director and general counsel. Greene will begin his transition as the private equity giant’s top in-house lawyer on Sept. 1.
Boston has also been a lively lateral market outside the private equity space. This week, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo partners Jeff Robbins and Joseph Lipchitz joined Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Boston office to build out its national First Amendment and media practice.