Paul Weiss raids Linklaters again in London for M&A partner

Dan Schuster-Woldan joins as head of European public M&A

Paul Weiss continues to grow its London team Shutterstock

Paul Weiss has marked its first London lateral of the year with the hire of public M&A partner Dan Schuster-Woldan from Linklaters, as the firm continues to target elite US and UK rivals in order to build out its City office. 

Linklaters lifer Schuster-Woldan has been a partner at the Magic Circle firm since 2010 and was most recently global co-head of its insurance sector group. Currently he focuses his practice on M&A deals in the insurance and wider financial services sector, although he has also led on sizeable public M&A transactions, demergers and corporate restructurings across other sectors. He has joined Paul Weiss as head of European public M&A.  

“We are delighted to welcome Dan, one of the leading M&A advisors in London, to our firm,” said Paul Weiss chairman, Brad Karp. “Dan has helped some of the world’s most important public and private companies, including financial services clients, successfully execute their most critical cross-border deals.” 

Schuster-Woldan’s cross-border work has seen him lead on M&A transactions across Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. His past representations include advising Phoenix Group on its acquisition of Sun Life UK from Sun Life Financial of Canada and a TDR Capital-led consortium on the proposed combination of LeasePlan with ALD, Societe Generale’s car leasing division, for €4.9bn.  

Schuster-Woldan’s hire comes hot on the heels of Paul Weiss securing the former head of Linklaters’ antitrust and foreign investment practice, Nicole Kar, in London in December, around the same time that it hired private equity partner Christopher Sullivan and acquisition finance partner Taner Hassan from Clifford Chance. 

Paul Weiss had been left with just three partners in London last August following the departure of office head Alvaro Membrillera for Kirkland & Ellis.  

The firm kickstarted its London growth a few weeks later when it unveiled an eye-catching four-partner private equity raid on Kirkland & Ellis, led by ‘superstar’ Neel Sachdev, that also signalled a strategic move to practise English law.  

The firm has followed that up with the hire of six more private equity partners from Kirkland, including Roger Johnson, who co-leads the London office alongside Sachdev, as well as the hire of corporate partner William Aitken-Davies from Linklaters as head of the London M&A group.  

Johnson said Schuster-Woldan was a “terrific” addition to the firm’s bench of M&A partners in London.   

“His broad experience and stellar reputation for public and private M&A will enhance our ability to serve global clients on their most strategic and challenging transactions,” he added.  

A Linklaters spokesperson commented: “We can confirm that Dan Schuster-Woldan will be leaving Linklaters. We thank Dan for his contribution to the firm and wish him all the best for the future.” 

In the past year Linklaters has lost partners in London to rivals including Kirkland, Latham & Watkins and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton as well as Paul Weiss. 

According to a report in The Lawyer, Linklaters – which overhauled its lockstep two years ago to retain top performers – is proposing to give management full control of individual partner pay on an annual basis and withhold retained profit distributions if they leave for a “deemed competitor”. 

Last month, however, the UK firm made a major play in New York with the hire of a six-strong M&A team from Shearman & Sterling including former global co-managing partner George Casey.

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