Akin names successors to veteran chair Koopersmith

UK-US duo Dan Walsh and Abid Qureshi to take over as co-chairs of top 40 US firm next April

Dan Walsh (l) and Abid Qureshi Images courtesy of Akin

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has named two successors to chair Kim Koopersmith, who is stepping down after more than a decade at the helm of the top 40 US firm. 

London partner Dan Walsh and Abid Qureshi, partner in charge of the firm’s New York office, will take over 1 April 2025 from Koopersmith. 

“Having worked closely with Abid and Dan for more than two decades, I am so pleased to be transitioning leadership to two highly distinguished lawyers who share a deep commitment to our firm and our values,” Koopersmith said. 

New York-based Koopersmith became the first woman to lead Akin when she took over as chair in 2013. During her tenure the firm has grown revenue 77%, to nearly $1.4bn in 2023, and doubled profits to just over $3.1m per equity partner, according to data from the American Lawyer. The 900-lawyer firm said it also doubled its international footprint and now has more than one fifth of its lawyers located outside the US.

“Kim has been a remarkable leader who has shown that you can reach extraordinary heights as an elite firm while holding true to a culture of respect and inclusiveness,” Qureshi said. “It is the honour of a lifetime to work alongside Dan and our fellow partners to build on the firm’s legacy and help lead its next chapter of growth.”

Qureshi has been at Akin for more than 25 years and alongside heading its New York office is a member of the firm’s management committee. A noted financial restructuring litigator, he counselled the unsecured creditors in the recent chapter 11 cases of Diamond Sports Group and former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, among others. 

Meantime Walsh has been a partner at Akin since 1996 and has served as a member of the firm’s management, compensation and partnership admissions committees. A corporate partner, he advises on international and US public and private debt and equity acquisitions and has worked with clients including Russian energy company Lukoil and telecoms multinational Veon. 

Qureshi and Walsh will maintain their practices to stay close to the firm’s clients and markets, Akin said. 

“I am honored to be following Kim and building on our commitment to growth compatible with our culture – an entrepreneurial spirit anchored in teamwork, respect and excellence in client service,” Walsh said. “I am also pleased that with the benefit of being co-chairs, both Abid and I will be able to maintain our direct connection to the clients we have served over many years and have that all important client perspective as we lead the firm forward.”

Koopersmith will remain at the firm after standing down as chair. 

Over the past year Akin has hired partners from rivals including McDermott Will & Emery, Hunton Andrews Kurth, Fried Frank and Paul Hastings to boost its private equity, energy, real estate finance, private credit and M&A platforms. 

Last year the firm opened an office in Boston, its 17th globally, focused on serving alternative investment managers. The firm hired executive compensation partner Wells Miller from Boston-based Choate Hall & Stewart ahead of the launch and has since added private credit partners Ranesh Ramanathan and Josh Peary to the office from Kirkland & Ellis. 

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