A&O adds East Coast depth with tech M&A partner hire in New York

Move comes amid firm's recent US push focused on the West Coast legal market
New York City skyline

By TTstudio

Allen & Overy (A&O) has hired Morrison & Foerster’s blockchain and smart contracts group co-chair Dario de Martino as a partner to beef up its tech M&A offering in New York. 

De Martino joins A&O’s East Coast bench after a six-year stint with MoFo’s New York M&A team, where he worked as a partner. He focuses his practice on domestic and cross-border public and private M&A transactions, carve-outs and joint ventures across the tech, life sciences, financial services and healthcare sectors. 

The move comes just a few months after the UK firm hired an eight-partner tech-focused team from White & Case in San Francisco as part of its recent dramatic push into the US market, which has so far been primarily focused on the West Coast. 

Prior to joining MoFo in 2015, de Martino worked as a corporate and M&A lawyer at Loeb & Loeb, having moved from Cahill Gordon & Reindell in 2009. 

As co-chair of MoFo’s blockchain and smart contracts group, De Martino played a key role in building out the firm’s advisory framework for transformative matters relating to cryptocurrencies, tokenisation and blockchain-enabled technologies. 

His recent clientele has included a number of leaders in the tech, healthcare and life sciences spaces, including Japanese conglomerate Fujifilm and cloud-based healthcare analytics platform Inovalon, according to his Linkedin profile

Commenting on his appointment, de Martino said: “Allen & Overy is a leader in global M&A and offers a unique platform for sophisticated technology and other innovative matters. I’m excited to continue advising my clients alongside the many other talented lawyers at the firm.”

Eric Shube, head of A&O’s US M&A practice, said de Martino will also build on his track record of participating in diversity and inclusion initiatives at MoFo to build out A&O’s own diversity, equity and inclusion objectives both within the firm and in the broader community. 

“Dario’s proven expertise, market knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit strengthen our capabilities in the tech sector, and his skills as an experienced M&A practitioner will help us serve clients in M&A transactions across the globe,” he added. 

A&O’s investment in its US capability began in New York back in 2016, when it hired five leveraged finance partners, including a trio from White & Case and lawyers from Proskauer Rose and Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy. 

It has since made play after play in the US market, opening three West Coast offices in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles and adding 20 lateral hires this year alone, including White & Case leveraged finance heavyweight Jake Mincemoyer in New York in February. 

MoFo has also made some significant moves as of late. The firm has expanded its Washington DC base by seven partners since the start of the year, including agency finance lawyers Greg Smith and Ann Lilienthal, who joined from DLA Piper in July. Former Trump White House lawyer Stacy Cline Amin also joined the firm in June from the US Food and Drug Administration’s legal team. 

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