Ropes & Gray's Washington, D.C. offices. August 29, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.
Ropes & Gray’s Washington, D.C. offices. August 29, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL. (Diego M. Radzinschi)

Paul Scrivano, who a year ago took over as global head of M&A and private equity at O’Melveny & Myers, has left the firm for Ropes & Gray.

The Boston-based Am Law 100 firm, known for its corporate strength in advising private equity sponsors and key strategic acquirers in the pharmaceuticals sector like Pfizer Inc. and Shire Pharmaceuticals LLC, will see Scrivano become its new global head of M&A.

In a brief phone conversation Thursday, Scrivano cited Ropes & Gray’s “collaborative culture” as the best recruiting tool offered by the 1,106-lawyer firm, which had profits per partner of $2.015 million in 2015, according to the most recent Am Law 100 financial data. O’Melveny & Myers, as a matter of comparison, had $1.76 million in average partner profits that same year.

Gross revenue at Ropes & Gray was $1.39 billion in 2015, while at roughly half its size, the 634-lawyer O’Melveny & Myers took home $689.5 million in gross revenue that same year. Scrivano, who will be 46 in June, declined to comment about whether he used the services of a legal recruiter in making the move to Ropes & Gray. He also declined to discuss specific clients, which in previous years have included the likes of Barnes & Noble founder and chairman Leonard Riggio, BB&T Corp., Dealertrack Technologies Inc., and Montage Technology Group Ltd.

Scrivano’s departure from O’Melveny & Myers comes 11 years to the month after he joined the firm from McDermott Will & Emery, a move that came three years after O’Melveny & Myers absorbed high-powered New York-based M&A boutique O’Sullivan. (Scrivano spent less than three years at McDermott, having joined the firm in 2002 after a half-dozen years as an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.)

O’Melveny & Myers’ corporate group has suffered several notable departures in recent years. In 2011, seven corporate partners left the firm’s New York office for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Scrivano, co-head of O’Melveny & Myers’ M&A and private equity group, assumed sole leadership of the practice in January 2016 after Cooley hired partner Stephen Tonsfeldt in Palo Alto, California.

An O’Melveny & Myers spokeswoman wished Scrivano (pictured right) well in his new role at Ropes & Gray and announced that current partner Jay Herron in Newport Beach, California, will replacement Scrivano as leader of the firm’s transactional group.

“Over the past six years, we’ve built a strong M&A practice with a deep bench of experienced lawyers by investing in the markets and industries where our clients are the most active,” said O’Melveny & Myers in a statement. “[Herron] will lead the continued growth of that practice, which handled approximately 300 deals worldwide in 2016—more than 20 of which were valued in excess of $1 billion each. And in 2017, we already have seen the addition of two lateral transactional partners in New York.”

The American Lawyer reported earlier this week on O’Melveny & Myers’ hire of Herrick, Feinstein partner Jared Bartie to bolster its sports, media and entertainment practice in New York. Bartie headed to the firm only a few weeks after it recruited DLA Piper partner Charles “Chuck” Baker to lead its sports industry group from New York.

O’Melveny & Myers also grew its private funds and institutional investors practice in London by recruiting King & Wood Mallesons partner Jonathan Blake in London, where he served as head of funds for the firm’s faltering European arm, as noted by sibling publication Legal Week.

London was where Ropes & Gray watched senior partner Maurice Allen—who helped the firm launch an office in the city in 2009—announce his retirement from the partnership at year’s end. Allen now serves as a consultant to Ropes & Gray and DLA Piper.

Since Jan. 1, Ropes & Gray has also watched several partners depart its ranks. The American Lawyer reported last month on Paul Weiss welcoming Patent Trial and Appeal Board expert J. Steven Baughman to its ranks in Washington, D.C. McDermott hired two other IP litigation partners, Nicole Jantzi and Paul Schoenhard, in the nation’s capital, while Jones Day picked up Ropes & Gray IP litigation partner Christopher Harnett in New York.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom launched an Asia funds practice in January after hiring Ropes & Gray partner and Asia investment funds head Geoffrey Chan in Hong Kong, according to sibling publication The Asian Lawyer. Nikhil Bodade, promoted to partner in Ropes & Gray’s private equity transactions group late last year, also recently left the firm to become general counsel at former client American Industrial Partners LP.

Ropes & Gray, a firm with Boston roots, did recruit James Brown, co-chair of the tax department at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, last month as a partner for its office in the Big Apple.


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