Baker McKenzie hires O’Melveny’s US M&A leader in New York

Tobias Knapp joins as co-head of global firm’s New York transactional group

Tobias Knapp Image courtesy of Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has recruited the head of O’Melveny & Myers’ US M&A and private equity practice, in the latest move to expand its deals roster.  

Tobias Knapp has joined the firm as co-head of its New York transactional group after nine years at O’Melveny, where he led on deals for clients including circuit board manufacturer TTM Technologies and sports streaming platform fuboTV.  

His client base of US and multinational companies will benefit from Baker McKenzie’s broad global network, which includes more than 2,500 deal lawyers across 45 jurisdictions. The Chicago-founded firm said it had added 40 partners to its global transactions group in the past 18 months, including nine corporate partners it recruited in Los Angeles last month from Munger Tolles & Olson. In January it also hired Bay Area dealmaker Eric Schwartzman from Latham & Watkins as head of its California private equity practice.

Knapp’s move to Baker McKenzie comes amid a revival in global M&A after dealmaking fell to a 10-year low in 2023. The value of M&A deals jumped 38% to $797.6bn in Q1 2024 compared to a year earlier according to data from LSEG, fuelled by a resurgence in megadeals. Cross-border M&A activity also increased 8% compared to year-prior levels, totalling $193.2bn.  

“We are seeing increased deal activity in cross-border transactions and carveouts,” said Jannan Crozier, Baker McKenzie’s global M&A chair. “Toby’s skill set will enhance the team’s ability to advise clients on sophisticated, multijurisdictional deals; I look forward to collaborating with him.”

Knapp brings more than 25 years’ experience in M&A and private equity transactions, public and private capital raising transactions and private investment funds. He also advises clients on corporate governance, fiduciary and investment advisory relationships and shareholder activism. Before joining O’Melveny he spent 12 years at Jenner & Block, where he was co-chair of the private equity practice and head of the New York corporate team, and earlier practised at Davis Polk & Wardwell and Ropes & Gray.

“Baker McKenzie has advised on some of the most significant cross-border deals in recent years,” Knapp said. “I am excited to join this group and contribute to the growth of the M&A and private equity teams.”  

Other firms have been busily recruiting transactional lawyers, including Perkins Coie, which hired a tech-focused corporate team from White & Case earlier this month to open an office in London.  

Earlier this month Paul Weiss also hired M&A partner Maria-Leticia Ossa Daza in New York from Willkie Farr & Gallagher to lead a newly-formed Latin America practice. 

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