20 Jun 2022

Paul Hastings’ London arm scoops partner duo from CMS and Morgan Lewis

Los Angeles firm continues run of lateral hires as it targets London and New York growth

LONDON- JUNE, 2020: 100 Bishopsgate, a development of two mixed-use buildings under construction on Bishopsgate in city of London

Paul Hastings' London office Shutterstock; William Barton

Paul Hastings has added a partner from CMS and another from Morgan Lewis & Bockius in the space of a week as it continues to target London growth, having also made a string of hires in New York.

Jason Brooks and Tom Cartwright are joining the Los Angeles-based firm’s UK private equity and structured credit groups respectively. 

Their hires come hard on the heels of the arrival earlier this month of Gibson Dunn’s global M&A co-chair, Eduardo Gallardo, in New York, as the firm looks to grow in both global financial centres.

Brooks joins Paul Hastings’ City outfit after six years at CMS, where he was a partner in the firm’s financial services and products group. In his new role, Brooks will work closely with Paul Hastings’ collateralised loan obligations lead Cameron Saylor and restructuring and finance lawyers Mei Lian and David Ereira to further the London office’s structured credit offering, the firm said. 

Paul Hastings’ structured credit practice in London consists of nine lawyers, as listed on the firm’s website. It ranked highly in league tables by market share last year after it worked on 116 CLO transactions in 2021 which accounted for around 50% of market opportunities. 

"Paul Hastings’ strong growth in London – coupled with existing market dominance in areas like CLOs – demonstrates the firm’s ambition for the future, and I am delighted to be a part of it,” Brooks said. 

Cartwright, meanwhile, moves across after eight years as a partner at Morgan Lewis. Before that, he spent six years at Taylor Wessing. He primarily advises sovereign wealth funds, private equity sponsors and family offices on PE investments and M&A transactions. 

Firm chairman Seth Zachary said: “Tom is an incredibly talented lawyer, with the intellectual capital and reputation that align with our forward-looking culture and brand in London.”

Cartwright worked on several significant deals during his time at Morgan Lewis, including White Mountains Insurance Group’s $1.77bn sale of its NSM Insurance Group to funds affiliated with the Carlyle Group earlier this year. 

“I am excited to serve clients as part of this elite firm with a global private equity platform and an entrepreneurial spirit that has driven such great results in London,” Cartwright said. 

Paul Hastings’ London office, which focuses on funds, finance, M&A/PE and investigations and white collar defence, grew headcount 16% last year to push it past 150 legal staff. 

This helped the office achieve its best financial performance yet in 2021 when revenue hit $152.7m, up from $108.6m in 2020. 

New arrivals to the office last year included six lawyers from US rival White & Case: partner duo Jonathan Pickworth and Joanna Dimmock joined the investigations and white collar defence team in January followed by newly-minted partner Rebecca Copcutt and three associates in May. 

The firm also added former Latham & Watkins partner Adrian Chiodo to its leveraged finance practice in October, two months after funds partner Ted Craig joined from Dentons. 

Meantime Paul Hastings has also been undergoing a growth spurt in New York, most notably thanks to the hiring of an 18-partner restructuring team from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in March. 

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