Paul Hastings adds 11 restructuring and finance partners after mass raid on King & Spalding

Latest team hire sees up to 20 lawyers led by K&S restructuring and finance co-head Jennifer Daly join across US

Jennifer Daly Image courtesy of Paul Hastings

Paul Hastings has hired a large restructuring, private credit and special situations team in the US from King & Spalding (K&S) led by the co-head of its global finance and restructuring practice, Jennifer Daly. 

The group includes at least eight former K&S partners – 11 of whom are joining Paul Hastings as partners – and up to 20 lawyers in total. They will join across Paul Hastings’ offices in New York, Washington DC, Chicago and Houston. It continues a finance and restructuring hiring spree that has seen the firm pick up teams from rivals including Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, Vinson & Elkins and Cahill Gordon & Reindel over the past two years. 

Firm chair, Frank Lopez, said the incoming team brought experience that was “synergistic with our existing practices”, adding that it would help the firm to gain market share at the top of the market.  

The group represents clients including private credit funds and business development companies, financial institutions, CLOs and banks. Daly focuses on direct lending transactions, representing financial institutions and borrowers across a range of financings including LBOs, first/second lien and mezzanine financings, as well as rescues and exits. She rejoined King & Spalding in 2017 having been chief operating officer and chief compliance officer at hedge fund Hunter Peak Investments and has worked with clients that overlap with Paul Hastings including KKR and Blackstone. 

Alongside Daly the incoming team includes partners Roger Schwartz, Matthew Warren, Christopher Boies, Zachary Cochran, Peter Montoni, Geoffrey King and Lindsey Henrikson alongside newly-minted partner Robert Nussbaum, who was a senior associate at King & Spalding. Two additional lawyers are understood to be joining as partners but are yet to be named.

Daly, Schwartz, Boies, Montoni and Nussbaum will be based in New York. Warren will split time between Chicago, where he will be joined by King and Henrikson, and Houston, while Cochran will work out of the Washington DC and New York offices. Prior to working at King & Spalding, Schwartz and Warren were restructuring partners at Latham & Watkins.  

The firm’s growing finance and restructuring practices have been top revenue drivers, helping to fuel a record 20% increase in turnover in the first quarter of 2024 compared to year-prior levels. 

Alongside upping revenue, the firm’s hiring spree has helped to bring in more high-profile matters, including creditor-side work in the bankruptcy of FTX. In April the firm disclosed hourly partner rates of up to $2,300 for its work on the latter, with the top rate being billed by former Stroock bankruptcy leader Kris Hansen. 

Hansen left Stroock for Paul Hastings two years ago at the head of a team of more than 40 restructuring lawyers, in a move that doubled the firm’s restructuring headcount to more than 70 lawyers. More recently finance and special situations partner David Hong joined the practice in New York from Kirkland & Ellis, while in London partners Will Needham and Helena Potts moved over from KKR and legacy Shearman & Sterling respectively.  

On the finance side Paul Hastings has made splashy hires including an eight-partner team across Texas from Vinson & Elkins in February. The same month it hired a trio of finance partners in Houston from Akin Gump, and last year picked up three partners in New York from top finance firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel. 

The firm has also been busily building its private equity offering, including hiring a co-head of Sidley Austin’s international private equity practice, Alexander Temel, alongside a team of lawyers to open an office in Boston

Daly said the King & Spalding group had been attracted by the growth of the firm’s finance and restructuring practices. 

“After seeing what’s been happening at Paul Hastings, we knew we wanted to be a part of what the firm is building and bring our unique blend of experience to the firm’s practices,” she said. 

Paul Hastings’ growth strategy appears to be paying off, with Bloomberg reporting the firm grew revenue by around 9% last year to more than $1.8bn. Meantime, the value of a single share for Paul Hastings’ equity partners has risen nearly 50% over the past three years.   

A King & Spalding spokesperson said the firm wished the departing lawyers well.

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