King & Spalding has made another addition to its transactional practice in New York, hiring Kevin Glenn, a 22-year partner at KPMG who formerly served as partner-in-charge of the global accounting giant’s U.S. tax team.
Glenn is the latest high-profile transactional lawyer to join King & Spalding, which has focused on growing its M&A and corporate practice in numerous offices within the past year.
In May 2017, the firm hired James Woolery, a one-time M&A partner and business development chair at Cravath, Swaine & Moore who also briefly led Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. The following month the firm hired a two-partner financing team in London from Ropes & Gray. And last month, King & Spalding’s Singapore office added Lee Taylor, a 20-plus year partner at Clifford Chance known for his M&A and private equity practice.
“The firm is clearly investing in New York and London and expanding its presence in both locations,” Glenn said Monday. “Adding senior resources like Jim and myself are part of that plan. Jim is a name I recognized and [his hire] obviously shows the firm’s commitment to New York and to the transactional business.”
Woolery was recently retained in a proxy battle by Texas tycoon Darwin Deason, who has teamed up with billionaire Carl Icahn to elect four new directors to the board of Xerox Crop.
Glenn’s connection to King & Spalding came through another former KPMG partner, Abraham “Hap” Shashy, who now works at the Atlanta-based Am Law 100 firm. Glenn said he had begun to look for opportunities at a law firm last summer, a process Shashy heard about from another KPMG partner. Glenn said it was a “lifetime-long aspiration” to become a law firm partner.
In making the switch from an accounting firm to a law firm, Glenn does so at a time when many expect the Big Four to become increasingly competitive for legal services around the globe. PricewaterhouseCoopers launched its first U.S. law firm last year, although it services only international legal needs.
Glenn said he expects the Big Four to be serious players in the legal market outside of the United States, but said more robust restrictions in this country on who can provide legal services will likely prevent the major accounting firms from doing the same in the domestic market.
“I still think the law firms will continue, whether it be in tax or otherwise, in the U.S., to dominate the legal services market,” Glenn said. “And I don’t expect accounting firms to make significant inroads here. I expect they will overseas.”
At KPMG, Glenn advised clients in the consumer products, financial institutions, automotive, retail and pharmaceutical industries on tax matters related to supply chain planning, post-merger integration, cash repatriation and foreign tax credit planning. He said his practice will be similar at King & Spalding.
“As the firm expands its transactional practice in New York and London, Kevin’s insight and his relationships with tax executives, CFOs and in-house tax counsel around the world will be key to our ability to serve our clients,” said a statement by Todd Holleman, head of King & Spalding’s corporate, finance and investments practice.
Glenn’s addition caps a busy few weeks of lateral hiring for King & Spalding to start 2018.
The firm recently recruited Morgan, Lewis & Bockius litigation partner Craig Stanfield in Houston and brought on restructuring partner Bradley Giordano from Kirkland & Ellis and former federal prosecutor Patrick Otlewski as a partner for its new office in Chicago. King & Spalding also added international finance and trade regulatory partner Rambod Behboodi in Geneva, Switzerland, but saw Weil, Gotshal & Manges grab private equity partner Matthew Stewart in Silicon Valley.