Goodwin taps Morgan Lewis partner to lead public company practice

Signage is seen outside of the legal offices of the Goodwin Procter law firm in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

  • Sean Donahue joined Morgan Lewis in 2011 from the SEC
  • He’ll also be part of Goodwin’s tech practice, which has been on a hiring tear

(Reuters) – Goodwin Procter said Wednesday that Sean Donahue, a longtime Morgan, Lewis & Bockius partner, has joined the firm in Washington, D.C., to lead its public company advisory practice.

Donahue was an attorney advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Corporation Finance Division before joining Morgan Lewis in 2011.

In addition to leading Goodwin’s public company group, he’ll be part of its growing technology practice. Goodwin added a nine-lawyer team from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and lawyers from Jones Day and Latham & Watkins to its tech practice last month.

A Morgan Lewis spokesperson wished Donahue well in the move.

Donahue advises companies on SEC reporting and compliance, proxy contests and activist campaigns, mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions. His practice extends to initial public offering, special purpose acquisition companies, environmental, social, and governance and securities regulatory matters.

His recent clients have included FinTech Acquisition Corp, a SPAC that acquired boutique investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners for a blank-check IPO last month.

Donahue said he expects ESG issues and SPACs to be “hot topics” for the SEC’s Corporation Finance Department in the upcoming years.

“Even if the SPAC IPOs themselves slow down, there’s so many SPACs that already went public that need to do an acquisition in order to fulfill their business plan,” Donahue said. “I still think it’s going to be a driver of IPO activity over the next couple years.”

Donahue said that Goodwin’s public company client base was a key draw for him. He said the firm’s “pipeline public companies in the emerging companies practice” combined with a hot IPO market made it the right time for the move.

“Sean’s experience with capital markets transactions and SEC regulatory matters is unrivaled, and further bolsters our leading offering for public companies,” Ken Gordon, co-chair of Goodwin’s technology practice, said in a statement.

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Arriana Mclymore

Arriana McLymore reports on the business of law, including diversity in the profession, corporate practices, legal education and attorney career life cycles.

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Arriana Mclymore