O’Melveny & Myers London funds partner Eve Ellis is leaving to join Ropes & Gray in the office’s third partner departure in the space of a month.
Ellis, who focuses on regulation and fund formation, will join Ropes & Gray’s U.K. practice, according to three people close to the situation, and will help advise on U.K. and EU regulation such as AIFMD and MiFID II.
In January, Ellis worked as part of the O’Melveny team advising private equity firm Coller Capital on its underwriting of a $1 billion fund that included assets from Bahrain-based investment house Investcorp.
Joining O’Melveny in 2007 as counsel, she had stints in the partnerships at legacy firm Charles Russell and Mishcon de Reya, before returning to the L.A.-native firm as a partner in 2015.
Ellis is the third partner to leave O’Melveny’s London office in recent weeks. Daniel Quinn and Aleksander Bakic left to join Akin Gump in late March.
The changes come as O’Melveny edges closer to an historic merger with Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy.
The pair are in the final stage of discussions for a deal that would create a business with combined revenues of well over $2 billion and a total lawyer headcount of about 3,000.
Talks have been going on for years but since the start of the year have narrowed in on key terms, such as a name and financial structure.
One person with knowledge of the talks said the merged firm would probably operate one profit pool, with an amalgamation of the two firms’ lockstep systems.
A number of hybrids of the duo’s names have been registered online, including allenomelveny.com, omelvenyallen.com, aom.com, aomm.com and allenmyers.com. But it is not known whether these were registered by the firms.