Paul Hastings celebrates 'milestone' hire of Gibson Dunn's M&A co-chair in New York

Eduardo Gallardo is latest high-profile addition in Big Apple as headcount nears 400

Eduardo Gallardo

Paul Hastings has hired Gibson Dunn’s global M&A co-chair, Eduardo Gallardo, in a move the firm's chair, Seth Zachary, has characterised as an ‘important milestone’ for the practice.

The arrival of Gallardo, who was also shareholder activism defence chair at Gibson Dunn, is that latest of a series of eye-catching hires secured by Paul Hastings as it looks to build its New York presence.

“Eduardo is among the most highly respected, elite dealmakers trusted by the world’s leading global corporations, asset managers and financial institutions to advise them on their most critical and complex transactions,” Zachary said.

After joining Gibson Dunn in 2005, Gallardo became a partner in 2008 and was appointed co-chair of M&A last year, the role he will now assume at his new firm working in tandem with current M&A chair San Francisco-based Steve Camahort.

Throughout his career, Gallardo has represented a slew of high-profile clients including AT&T, Hewlett Packard and Barnes & Noble in a string of multibillion dollar deals which earned him a reputation as one of the most recognisable dealmakers in the country, his new firm said. 

Gallardo’s particular experience lies in representing public and private companies in connection with proxy contests, leveraged buyouts, spinoffs, divestitures, restructurings, recapitalisations, joint ventures, and other complex corporate transactions. 

Last year, he advised AT&T on its $1.4bn sale of Warner Bros Games’ Playdemic to Electronic Arts, and in 2019 he represented Barnes & Noble Education in its successful defence against an unsolicited takeover bid by Bay Capital Finance.

In his new role, Gallardo said he intended to “help transform Paul Hastings into a destination M&A and takeover defence advisory platform”. 

Paul Hastings has 30 M&A lawyers – including 12 partners – in New York, according to its website, while its total office headcount in the Big Apple is on track to hit 400 by the end of the year, according to a statement.

This growth trajectory was aided by the hire of a three-partner projects and infrastructure team from Shearman & Sterling last month and the arrival of an 18-partner restructuring team from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in March. 

The firm recorded a 20% increase in global revenue to hit $1.57bn in 2021 against a 20.5% increase in profit-per-equity partner. The positive results were the last set to come out of Zachary’s time at the helm as he is set to step down later this year after seven terms in the role. The firm announced toward the end of last year that he will hand over the reins to leveraged finance partner Frank Lopez, who currently heads the capital markets practice in New York. 

Gibson Dunn, meanwhile, secured new blood in New York when it hired capital markets partner Douglas Horowitz from Cahill Gordon & Reindel in April to lead its leveraged and acquisition finance efforts.

The California firm has been making a concerted effort to recruit lateral talent across the pond, a strategy that landed it a private equity partner duo from Sidley Austin last December.

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