Paul Hastings hires European restructuring co-chair in London from KKR

William Needham’s hire continues string of partner laterals in London by US firm

Paul Hastings has bolstered its restructuring team with the hire of a partner in London from investment firm KKR. 

William Needham is set to join the top 25 US firm after nine years at KKR and will co-chair its European restructuring practice with fellow partner Mei Lian. 

According to a source with knowledge of the move, Paul Hastings expects Needham’s skillset and background, along with his relationships across the market, will mean he plays an important role in the growth of the firm’s financial restructuring practice in Europe and globally. 

The firm’s restructuring team was significantly boosted in the US last year with the landmark hire of an 18-partner restructuring team from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and was also bolstered in London earlier this year with the arrival of partner Helena Potts from Shearman & Sterling. 

Needham practised at Jones Day and Weil before joining KKR, where he has served as the European head of restructuring, global head of sustainable credit and former European general counsel for KKR credit. 

Most recently he was a managing director on the credit team at KKR, where he restructured debt totalling approximately $10bn, led bankruptcy proceedings and informal workouts for KKR in numerous asset classes across Europe and sat on the boards of multiple KKR portfolio companies. He sits on the private debt advisory committee of the Principles for Responsible Investment and the private debt committee of the European Leveraged Finance Association.  

The hire of Needham continues a run of senior laterals in Paul Hastings’ 50-partner London office, which focuses on funds, finance, M&A/PE and investigations and white collar defence and has grown rapidly in recent years. 

Other partners the firm has hired in London this year include Linklaters’ global infrastructure co-chairs, Jessamy Gallagher and Stuart Rowson, private equity duo Samantha McGonigle and Patrick Bright from Weil, international arbitration specialist Garreth Wong from Shearman and Ruth Knox, who focuses on ESG and sustainability, from Kirkland. 

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