Latham & Watkins continues 2020 corporate lateral spree with hires from Kirkland & Ellis

Addition of partners in Boston and Chicago adds to earlier hires in Houston, London and Madrid from array of rivals


Latham & Watkins has secured two Kirkland & Ellis M&A partners as part of a corporate hiring spree that has seen a total of seven partner-level laterals across the US, the UK and Spain since January.

Neal Reenan and Ian Bushner are joining the firm’s Boston and Chicago offices respectively and will sit in its M&A and private equity practices.

They mark the sixth and seventh senior corporate lateral hires by Latham this year following previously announced hires from an array of leading law firms, including UK magic circle rival Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which is losing rising M&A partner Sam Newhouse to its London office.

Newhouse is noted for his work advising on energy-related M&A, including in Africa and India, and the firm has also bolstered its European energy practice in Madrid with the hire of María José Descalzo Benito from Uría Menendez, allowing it to make further inroads into the Latin America market as well as Spain.

Meanwhile, in Houston it is adding energy focused M&A partner Justin Stolte from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.

The roster of seven hires is completed by technology specialists Mike Turner and Shing Lo, who are joining the London office from Taylor Wessing and Bird & Bird respectively, marking a notable push by the firm into the UK’s mid-market deal arena.

Reenan, whose specialist sectors include healthcare, manufacturing and technology, said he was drawn to the firm by its integrated global platform and collaborative culture.

Bushner added: “I have worked across the table from many Latham lawyers in offices throughout the world and am continuously impressed with the high calibre advice and commercial approach that they provide.”

Kirkland and Latham are the world’s number one and two law firms by revenue respectively and regularly compete for the leading slots in the M&A league tables.

Kirkland was third in Mergermarket’s global league table by value for 2019 advising on deals valued at a total of $538.6bn, ahead of Latham which was in seventh slot.

Last month, Latham released a strong set of financial results for 2019 with turnover up 11% to $3.768bn against a 9.5% increase in profit-per-equity partner to $3.7m.

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