Davis Polk lands tax partner from Cleary Gottlieb in New York

Corey Goodman is the latest lawyer to join the Wall Street firm since it scrapped its pure lockstep system last year
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Davis Polk & Wardwell has hired tax partner Corey Goodman in New York from Wall Street rival Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. 

Goodman joins Davis Polk after just shy of 15 years at Cleary, having made partner in 2016. His experience covers a broad spectrum of federal income tax matters, including US and international M&A, joint ventures, spinoffs, bankruptcy reorganisations, refinancings and cross-border and internal restructuring. 

David Schnabel, head of Davis Polk’s tax practice, described Goodman as a “star in the tax field”, adding that his background advising corporations and private equity firms on tax matters was a “perfect match for our practice”. 

“Bringing Corey onboard further strengthens our market-leading abilities,” Schnabel said. “His arrival comes at a time when changes in tax law and the market have placed a premium on superior tax advice.” 

Neil Barr, Davis Polk’s managing partner, added: “Corey’s experience across corporate transactions – from M&A and private equity, to capital markets, finance and restructuring – will be of great value to our clients seeking the most sophisticated tax advice.”

Davis Polk has made a number of lateral hires since it scrapped its pure lockstep structure last September, swapping a model where partner pay is based on seniority for a more flexible structure in order to make the firm more competitive in the lateral hire market. 

The firm’s first lateral hire after shifting away from its pure lockstep was Daniel Stipano, who joined the firm in January from  a role as a partner at Buckley in Washington DC, while White & Case’s Americas private credit and direct lending practice leader Nicholas Palumbo joined the firm’s finance group in New York just a few weeks later. The firm also nabbed Cleary’s former foreign investments and national security head Paul Marquardt to bolster its financial institutions group in Washington DC in June.  

Only a handful of US firms are still tied to a pure lockstep structure, including Goodman’s former employer Cleary, as well as Wall Street trio Cravath Swaine & Moore, Debevoise & Plimpton and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. 

In the UK, Slaughter & May — one of the few UK firms still operating a pure lockstep — announced in June that it had to decided to axe the long-standing roles of executive partner and practice partner starting next May and instead create a managing partner role, in a bid to modernise its management structure. 

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