King & Spalding is the first of the Am Law 100 firms headquartered in Atlanta to announce its partner promotions, which are effective Jan. 1, 2018.
This year, the firm expanded its class of new partners to 17, up from 14 last year. And, unlike last year, the largest number of promotions by far are in Atlanta. Seven of the 17 new partners are local—a big change from a year ago, when fully half of the firm’s 14 new partners were in Washington and only two were promoted in Atlanta.
King & Spalding made only one new partner in Washington this year, antitrust practitioner John Carroll. Other offices with promotions were San Francisco, New York, Houston, Charlotte and London. The firm has 1,000 lawyers in 20 offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Tokyo.
In what seems a further move to build its corporate practice, King & Spalding made the majority of the promotions, 10, in that area, compared with only seven new partners in litigation, which is a traditional strength for the firm.
“This year’s class spans a range of expertise in complex litigation and transactional matters, and reflects the growth of the firm’s corporate work with new partners who focus on finance, corporate governance, M&A and restructuring,” said the firm’s chair, Robert Hays Jr., in a statement.
Of the seven Atlanta new partners, six have corporate practices.
The new Atlanta partners are: Zachary Cochran (corporate), Jeffrey Dutson (financial restructuring), Gibbs Fryer (real estate finance) Matthew Sandiford (finance), Spencer Stockdale (M&A), Elliott Tapp (M&A, private equity) and Thaddeus Wilson (bankruptcy litigation).
In another move to boost its transactional profile, King & Spalding made a big hire in New York last spring for its corporate practice, recruiting dealmaker Jim Woolery. A former Cravath, Swaine & Moore partner and JPMorgan Chase M&A leader who went on to co-chair Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft’s corporate department, Woolery left Cadwalader in 2015 to co-found investment fund Hudson Executive Capital.
When he joined King & Spading, Hays said Woolery’s addition to the firm was “consistent with our strategy to increase our corporate presence in New York.”
King & Spalding again promoted very few women to partner in its latest round—three this year out of the class of 17, compared with only two out of 14 last year. The promotion rate for the 2016 class was better—seven women out of 24 total new partners.
Among Am Law 100 and 200 firms, women make up 30 percent of nonequity partners and 19 percent of equity partners, according to the National Association of Women Lawyers’ annual report on the promotion and retention of women in law firms, released in September.
But women made up the majority of King & Spalding’s new counsel promotions—seven out of 12.
The two new Atlanta counsel are Philip Green in tort litigation and J. Andrew Pratt in commercial litigation