Kirkland & Ellis offices in Washington, D.C. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL. (Diego M. Radzinschi)
A week after bringing on a five-partner team from Ropes & Gray on three continents, Kirkland & Ellis has returned to the firm for two more hires.
On Thursday, Kirkland announced its hire of Ropes & Gray investment funds partner Anand Damodaran in London, a day after confirming its addition of Ropes & Gray government enforcement counsel Michael Casey as a partner in the same city.
Casey is an economic sanctions expert, while Damodaran specializes in advising clients on the formation of credit, private equity and real estate funds. The departures of Damodaran and Casey represent the sixth and seventh hires by Kirkland from Ropes & Gray in recent weeks.
“Anand is a hugely talented practitioner and an excellent addition to our market-leading investment funds group in London,” said a statement by Kirkland chairman Jeffrey Hammes, who assumed leadership of the firm seven years ago. “His extensive experience and knowledge advising fund sponsors across the spectrum of investment strategies, including his particular credit fund strength, will further enhance our global funds offering.”
Kirkland and Ropes & Gray have long battled over private equity clients. Among those to recently leave Ropes & Gray for Kirkland were Chicago managing partner and global anticorruption and international risks co-chair Asheesh Goel, securities and enforcement co-head Zachary Brez in New York and government enforcement partners Kim Nemirow in Chicago, Cori Lable in Hong Kong and Marcus Thompson in London. In June, Kirkland opened an office in Boston and subsequently recruited Ropes & Gray private equity partner Jason Serlenga for its new outpost.
Earlier this month, Ropes & Gray investment management and financial regulation partner Monica Gogna also left the firm’s London office. Her profile on professional networking website LinkedIn now lists her on “gardening leave.” K&L Gates also added former Ropes & Gray restructuring and insolvency of counsel James Wright III as a partner in Boston. And the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced Thursday its hire of Ropes & Gray counsel Dalia Blass in Washington, D.C., to become director of the agency’s division of investment management.
Ropes & Gray, which earlier this month officially spun off a 100-strong patent prosecution practice into its own firm, has watched other partners leave its ranks this year for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Goodwin Procter, King & Spalding, Linklaters and White & Case. Paul Rubin, a life sciences partner at Ropes & Gray and co-head of the firm’s retail and consumer brands practice in Washington, D.C., also recently left the firm. His new role was unclear at the time of this story.
Despite the losses, some due to the firm’s restructuring of its intellectual property practice, Ropes & Gray has also made additions to its partnership. The firm recently hired Scott McKeown, chair of the post-grant patent practice at Oblon in Washington, D.C., to replace departed former practice leader J. Scott Baughman, who in January joined Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.