Latham & Watkins offices in Washington, D.C. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

David Beller, a private equity and M&A lawyer, has left Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison for Latham & Watkins in New York.

Beller, who practiced at Kirkland & Ellis for five years before moving to Paul Weiss in 2017, advises clients on private funds in a vast range of matters, including public and private mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, co-investments, dispositions, carve-outs, and corporate governance. He has experience in both friendly and unsolicited corporate takeovers. Beller’s clients include public companies in the manufacturing, energy, telecommunications and real estate sectors.

Beller said he has come to know Latham and some of its attorneys over the course of his legal career.

“I was across from a number of Latham attorneys on several private equity transactions, and was always impressed with their ability as lawyers, their commercial sense, and their focus on the issues that are important to sponsors,” he said.

David Beller

Beller expects to be busy in his new job at Latham, as he believes the private equity market in 2019 will be active.

“As the equity markets have been gyrating, valuations are starting to compress a bit. They were at peak highs for a while, and people who were sitting on the sidelines waiting for valuations to come down a bit are ready to step in and do deals,” he said.

Beller’s hiring comes on the heels of other high-level personnel changes at the firm. In the first week of the new year, Latham announced it had hired Alexander Johnson, former head of the M&A practice in the Manhattan offices of Hogan Lovells. However, the firm has also seen departures this year. Just days after it hired Johnson, the firm lost capital markets lawyer Richard Brown to Baker Botts.

In a statement, Michelle Penzer, Latham’s office managing partner in New York, said, “David’s reputation in the market is one of exceptional client service and the highest quality legal work, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the New York office. His experience further bolsters our strong footprint in New York.”

Paul Weiss did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Beller’s departure.