09 January 2019 at 18:43 BST

In-house leader jumps over the desk in IBM Red Hat deal

In-house counsel will continue to work on the IBM-Red Hat deal, but now from the other side of the desk as Hogan Lovells hires their client.

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Hogan Lovells has hired David Walsh a longtime legal leader from one of its clients, IBM, to serve as a senior counsel with the firm’s antitrust, competition, and economic regulation practice.

Unique circumstance

A unique circumstance is cited as the reason why Mr Walsh made the Hogan move instead of retiring on December 31, 2018. The circumstance was  the $34 billion IBM acquisition of the open-source software and technology company Red Hat that IBM announced in late October. Mr Walsh, who served at IBM for 36 years, is now working out of Hogan’s Boston office, leaving the computer giant as vice president and assistant general counsel, based at the company’s headquarters in Armonk, NY. Mr Walsh most recently headed up the legal department for IBM’s Global Business Services branch and led M&A and antitrust teams at the company. Hogan has become IBM’s lead outside counsel on antitrust and competition matters.

Satisfying compromise

Prior to his IBM retirement, the company’s chairman and general counsel had reportedly urged Mr Walsh to stay on at IBM through the completion of the Red Hat purchase. The deal should complete sometime between the spring and later in 2019. Mr Walsh said the Hogan offer was ‘a satisfying compromise’ for the Cambridge, Mass. Native. Mr Walsh served as IBM’s head of global antitrust for many years, where he resolved matters involving the Justice Department, the European Commission, and several other antitrust agencies.


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