Patrick Montgomery, King & Spalding. Courtesy photo

King & Spalding’s latest lateral hire, G. Patrick Montgomery, formerly of Kirkland & Ellis, adds to the Atlanta-based firm’s rapidly expanding special matters and government investigations team.

Montgomery’s addition bolsters the Washington lineup on the special matters team, which added former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates in May. The group has grown by five partners this year—including Montgomery and Yates—in Atlanta, Chicago, D.C. and London.

The latest hire may fit with King & Spalding’s aspirations to keep growing outside its traditional Atlanta base, but for Montgomery, the move is a return to his roots. He started at King & Spalding in Atlanta straight after law school and worked there as an associate from 2008 to 2010.

As he went on to clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and joined Kirkland in 2011, he said he always thought of King & Spalding as a personal and professional destination in the back of his mind.

“I was not looking to depart [Kirkland], but I was always open to opportunities as they presented themselves,” Montgomery said. He noted that he contemplated other firms but did not identify them.

Montgomery said his attraction to King & Spalding extended beyond his personal ties, citing what he described as its deep roster on the special matters and government investigation team and the firm’s “unparalleled platform.”

Without naming the clients he intended to bring with him to King & Spalding, Montgomery noted that he spent much of the previous five years working with financial services clients, and he said King & Spalding has a “terrific roster” of existing clients. His work focuses on white-collar criminal matters, government enforcement actions, and complex litigation issues for clients that have included Deutsche Bank.

“Patrick has expertise guiding some of the world’s most prominent financial institutions and other companies with their most sensitive matters, and his clients hold him in very high regard,” said Wick Sollers, head of King & Spalding’s government matters practice group, in a statement.

Montgomery would not discuss whether others from Kirkland would follow his lead to King & Spalding, nor would he comment on whether his compensation changed.

For hints regarding how King & Spalding may grow in coming months, observers could look to candidates that have longstanding ties to the firm. On the special matters team, Montgomery, Yates, and former U.S. Attorney John Horn of the Northern District of Georgia all returned to the firm this year.