Sullivan & Cromwell adds PE star from Allen & Overy in rare London partner hire

Karan Dinamani joins elite US firm’s European PE and M&A teams after almost a decade at A&O
London skyline , city escape at sunny day

Aniczkania; Shutterstock

New York law firm Sullivan & Cormwell (S&C) has made a very rare partner hire in London, adding private equity heavyweight Karan Dinamani from Allen & Overy (A&O).

Dinamani has joined S&C’s European PE and M&A practices after almost a decade at the magic circle firm, prior to which he was a partner at Ashurst. 

He acts for private equity houses and other financial sponsors on acquisitions and disposals and also advises clients on cross border M&A and corporate finance transactions.

S&C said Dinamani’s hire would strengthen its English law practice and ability to serve financial sponsors’ needs across Europe.   

“We are delighted Karan will be joining us,” said S&C co-chairs Robert Giuffra and Scott Miller. “Karan is a creative and commercial lawyer and has led some of the most complex private equity transactions across Europe. He is a perfect fit as we continue to expand our global M&A and private equity practices.”

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At A&O, Dinamani acted for clients including Ardian, Blackstone and Bridgepoint Europe, the latter of which he advised in relation to its acquisition of Qualitest from Marlin Equity Partners and joint acquisition of Fenergo from Insight Ventures.

He has joined a market-leading M&A team at S&C – the firm advised on deals totaling $516.6bn in 2022, a figure that saw it top Refinitiv’s global M&A legal advisor rankings by deal value for the second consecutive year. 

Standout deals for the Europe team in 2022 included advising Porsche SE on its €10.1bn investment in Porsche AG and e$ on its $4.4bn acquisition of a 9.8 percent stake in Vodafone. 

“Cross-border M&A is a core strength of our practice in London,” said Richard Pollack, managing partner of S&C’s London office. “The addition of Karan’s capabilities and experience strengthens our position in the London market and bolsters our offering to private equity and other financial sponsor clients in Europe and throughout the world.”

Dinamani has joined S&C’s London office – its second largest after New York – as its 17th partner and will work alongside veteran M&A and private equity partners including Nikolaos Andronikos, Ben Perry and Pollack, who also co-heads the firm’s private equity group with US trio Brian Hamilton, Rita-Anne O’Neill and Alison Ressler. 

“Sullivan & Cromwell has long been an M&A powerhouse advising on the most landmark acquisitions and dispositions in the market,” Dinamani said. “I look forward to bringing my expertise to the firm’s practices in Europe and collaborating with partners across the firm’s global network.” 

Danimani’s is the first partner lateral in S&C’s City office since 2018, when it hired corporate lawyer Jeremy Kutner from Shearman & Sterling, where he led the firm’s TMT industry group. The firm's last London lateral before that was restructuring partner Chris Howard, who joined from Linklaters back in 2013.

An A&O spokesperson commented: “Karan Dinamani has decided to leave Allen & Overy. We would like to thank him for the contribution he has made during his time at Allen & Overy and wish him all the best for the future.”

News of the hire comes as S&C's Wall Street rival, Cravath Swaine & Moore, prepares to launch an English law practice courtesy of heavyweight finance duo Korey Fevzi and Philip Stopford, who are joining from Shearman & Sterling. 

And last month, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett hired two funds partners from leading UK independent Travers Smith.

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