Sidley Austin hires private equity team from Paul Weiss in New York

Incoming team includes partners Jeffrey Kochian, Gerald Brant and Brittany Harrison

Sidley grows its financial sponsors coverage in New York Shutterstock

Sidley Austin has hired a quartet of deals lawyers from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison to further expand its global private equity practice.

The incoming team includes M&A and private equity partners Jeffrey Kochian, Gerald Brant and Brittany Harrison, alongside counsel Erika Cohen. All four join the firm in New York and bring with them extensive deals experience, with a particular emphasis on transactions for financial sponsors and their portfolio companies.

Michael Schmidtberger, Sidley’s executive committee chair, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Jeff, Gerald, Brittany and Erika to our world-class team of lawyers. Their reputations and proven track records in delivering outstanding results for clients make them a valuable addition to our New York office and our M&A and private equity practice group.”

Kochian joins after two years at Paul Weiss having previously spent close to 14 years as a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, where he co-led its corporate practice. He also had spells as an associate at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and Cravath Swaine & Moore. Brant, Harrison and Cohen also followed Kochian on the same path from Akin Gump to Paul Weiss, before completing their latest move.

Brian Fahrney, global co-leader of Sidley’s M&A and private equity practice group, said: “This group’s arrival solidifies our position as one of the premier firms to turn to for complex transactions representing financial sponsors. This group was well known to us through client and personal relationships, so it was an easy decision for us to recruit these talented lawyers.”

The quartet are the latest additions to Sidley’s growing private equity practice. In June the firm also raided Paul Weiss for a double partner hire in London with the arrival of Ramy Wahbeh and Kaisa Kuusk. Wahbeh is now co-leader of Sidley’s global private equity practice. That followed a similar double partner hire in London from Weil Gotschal & Manges with the arrival of private equity lawyers James MacArthur and Ed Freeman.

It has not been one way traffic, however. Last month, Sidley lost London private equity partner Eleanor Shanks to Herbert Smith Freehills, where she will head up its international private equity practice.

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