Boston Harbor and Financial District at sunset in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo: Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/Shutterstock.com)
The competition is heating up in Beantown as Goodwin Procter and Kirkland & Ellis recruited a pair of partners this week from Ropes & Gray.
Jason Serlenga, a private equity expert who made partner at Ropes & Gray on Nov. 1, 2015, is poised to join Kirkland’s new office in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Marc Lazar, co-head of Ropes & Gray’s real estate investments and transactions group, has joined Goodwin Procter’s real estate industry group as a partner in the city.
“[Lazar’s] arrival deepens the industry reach of our fund formation, transactional, portfolio and public company teams,” said a statement by Goodwin Procter’s global real estate industry chair Minta Kay. “Many of our partners have worked with [Lazar] over the years—his real estate prowess and vast experience pair well with our national and international capabilities.”
Lazar, who began his legal career at Boston-based Foley Hoag nearly 30 years ago, focuses on real estate finance and investments. His clients include institutional investors, hedge funds and other private equity funds in the U.S. and across Europe. Lazar was not immediately available to discuss his decision to leave Ropes & Gray, which he joined as an associate in May 2001.
Serlenga, who joined Ropes & Gray as an associate in September 2006, specializes in financing transactions, including leveraged acquisitions, restructuring and recapitalizations and regularly advises private equity firms and their subsidiaries in large cap and middle-market financings.
He was part of a team of Ropes & Gray lawyers that represented longtime firm client Bain Capital LP on its $2.4 billion buy in 2015 of data and network security company Blue Coat Systems Inc. Serlenga and Ropes & Gray then advised Bain Capital and Blue Coat the following year on the latter’s $4.65 billion sale to Symantec Corp.
Kirkland and Ropes & Gray have long battled with one another over the title of becoming Bain Capital’s go-to outside firm for transactional work. The Boston-based buyout giant was co-founded by former Massachusetts governor and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a longtime Ropes & Gray client.
In April, Kirkland picked up roles representing Bain Capital on its $3.2 billion acquisition of the cleaning and chemical systems business of Sealed Air, the maker of Bubble Wrap, and the private equity firm’s proposed $4.3 billion buy of German pharmaceutical company Stada Arzneimittel AG. The Chicago-based firm is also representing The Gymboree Corp., a children’s clothing retailer owned by Bain Capital, in a bankruptcy case filed earlier this month.
A spokeswoman for Ropes & Gray did not immediately return a request for comment about the departures to Kirkland and Goodwin Procter. Last week Karen Mangasarian, a life sciences and intellectual property partner at Ropes & Gray in New York, decamped for Foley & Lardner.
Ropes & Gray’s London office, which opened in 2009, also saw two partners recently leave for King & Spalding. Earlier this year, Ropes & Gray announced that roughly 100 lawyers and staffers would depart its ranks as part of a planned spin-off of its patent prosecution practice.