Shortly after picking up an M&A group from White & Case in the Silicon Valley, Paul Hastings has added another partner to its fast-growing Northern California offices.
Private equity lawyer Alex Kaufman has joined Paul Hastings as a partner in its Palo Alto office, coming from Morrison & Foerster. He most recently served as co-chairman of MoFo’s Israel practice, and said he will continue to work with his Israeli clients at his new firm.
“I am a private equity professional and I primarily advise private equity funds,” Kaufman said. “The Paul Hastings platform is truly exceptional and the opportunity to partner with Mike Kennedy, Dana Kromm and Steve Camahort, it was just too good to pass up.”
Kaufman’s practice focuses on advising private equity funds and their portfolio companies on corporate transactions matters, including leveraged buyouts, growth equity investments and divestitures. Last year he counseled SoftBank in its multibillion-dollar investment in Uber.
He joined MoFo in 2016 from Kirkland & Ellis. Before that, he was an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. He started his legal career at New York-based Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel and moved to the West Coast in 2011.
“I came to California because I was just so drawn to the explosive growth in the technology sector,” Kaufman said. “And, as a young upcoming associate, I saw a tremendous opportunity to hone my skills in a rapidly expanding market.”
Paul Hastings, which saw gross revenue climb 9.1 percent to $1.22 billion in 2018, has about 100 lawyers in its private equity practice, the firm said.
“Our private equity practice had an exceptionally strong year in 2018 and the additions of leading talent like Alex and other recent laterals is a sign of the firm’s accelerated growth in PE,” Seth Zachary, chairman of Paul Hastings, said in a statement. “We’re incredibly pleased to find dynamic talent—lawyers that are attracted to the entrepreneurial opportunities to grow their practice and to be part of Paul Hastings’ future success,” he added.
The firm’s private equity group last year hired Anu Balasubramanian from DLA Piper in London; Ira Kustin from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in New York; and Kfir Abutbul from Willkie Farr & Gallagher in Houston.
But in New York, Paul Hastings just lost its securities litigation practice co-chairman, Douglas Flaum, to Goodwin Procter.
In a statement responding to Kaufman’s departure, a MoFo representative said: “The firm wishes Alex well.”