It’s not often that when clients need high-end corporate legal work, they think of Washington. Daniel Lennon is trying to change that. As the global chairman of Latham & Watkins’ corporate department and a partner in the firm’s Washington office, Lennon has bulked up the corporate practice in D.C. in part by embracing the international side of corporate work.
“It’s very rare you see a billion-dollar transaction that is just in the U.S.,” Lennon said. “Clients are increasingly becoming global.”
Lennon said that the international reach of Latham & Watkins, with 20 offices in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, helps gain clients that the firm might not otherwise have been able to attract. The team boasts a client list that includes Allison Transmission Holdings Inc., HCR ManorCare, Highbridge Capital Management LLC, Ciena Corp., The Carlyle Group L.P., Apollo Global Management LLC, Onex Partners L.P. and Platinum Equity LLC.
Lennon said that bulking up the firm’s D.C. corporate law presence was also important because it boosted Latham’s ability to be a full-service firm. “Our clients were used to calling D.C. lawyers for regulatory work or communications work,” Lennon said. “We have always thought it’s just more efficient if you have other practices to offer as well.”
It was Lennon who recognized the need for a private-equity finance practice group, a relative rarity even among large firms. The group is led by two Washington partners, Patrick Shannon and Jennifer Van Driesen.
Lennon has kept himself busy by advising on transactions, including the $4 billion leveraged buyout of Pharmaceutical Product Development Inc. by Carlyle and Hellman & Friedman LLC. He also has advised on the $1.4 billion merger between Vought Aircraft Industries Inc. and Triumph Group Inc.
In the future, Lennon foresees increased activity in the private-equity realm and an increase in regional specialization.
“We see our clients moving into different asset classes beyond private equity,” Lennon said. “All these areas are under more regulation.”
— Matthew Huisman