King & Spalding secures Dickson Minto private equity partner in London amid Europe growth push

Paul Barron joins as corporate, finance and investment team’s fifth London partner lateral this year

Paul Barron Image courtesy of King & Spalding

King & Spalding has added a private equity partner in London from highly rated corporate law boutique Dickson Minto as part of a wider European transactional growth push.  

Paul Barron has joined K&S’s corporate, finance and investment practice group after almost 20 years at Dickson Minto, where he made partner in 2015. He advises on a range of corporate finance matters, with a focus on private equity and M&A transactions.

“Paul has strong relationships with some of the biggest names in the private equity sphere and an impressive deal list, making him an appealing strategic hire as we continue to expand our transactional practice in the UK and across Europe,” said Todd Holleman, head of the firm’s CFI group. “Private equity continues to become more prevalent across funds, buyouts and financings, so it is vital to have top-quality lawyers – such as Paul – to steer these complex transactions.”     

Barron is the fifth lateral partner hire in the firm’s CFI team in London since the start of the year following the arrival of private equity specialist Amit Kataria last week from Morrison & Foerster, finance partners Richard Kitchen and Amin Doulai in August from Paul Hastings and energy partner Nina Howell from Bracewell in the spring.  

“Paul is another top-quality addition to our transactional team as we continue to invest in expansion across a variety of practices in London,” added Tom Sprange KC, office managing partner in London. “He fits nicely into our London private equity offering and provides new cross-border collaboration opportunities with our colleagues in the US, EMEA and Asia.” 

Barron has arrived amid a wider European transactional growth push at K&S that also saw the firm bolster its CFI team in Paris last month with the hire of finance partner Fernand Arsanios from Reed Smith and employment partner Alice Mony Decroix from Bredin Prat. Meantime in Frankfurt it added a five-lawyer team led by private equity partner Peter Memminger. 

Barron’s departure from Dickson Minto, reportedly one of the most profitable UK-based law firms, follows co-founders Alastair Dickson and Bruce Minto stepping back from their executive roles earlier this year ahead of passing on control of the firm, Financial News reported

The firm does not supply figures for its performance or advertise deals on which it has worked, but is known to have relationships with private equity players including Charterhouse and BC Partners and according to its website works with more than 50 listed companies. 

Founded in Edinburgh in 1985, it also has a base in London and has 20 partners following Barron’s departure. It had revenue of £44m in the 2019/20 financial year, according to The Lawyer.

The firm’s status as a niche private equity powerhouse makes it a desirable target for US firms looking for a team merger to create a ‘plug-and-play’ London private equity offering. 

However, the firm shows no signs of relinquishing its independence. Financial News reported that private equity partner Jordan Simpson and corporate finance partner Douglas Armstrong have emerged as key players among the younger generation, though the future leadership remains a topic of speculation in the UK legal market. 

Its partners make for an attractive, if rare, addition for rival firms, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer having snapped up corporate partner Rebecca Ward in London in June. 

Dickson Minto did not respond to a request for comment. 

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