Riding M&A wave, Goodwin hires away Kramer Levin corporate co-head

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

  • James Moriarty joins Goodwin Procter as a partner in its private equity practice
  • Goodwin advised on 460 worldwide M&A deals totaling over $90 billion in 1H

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(Reuters) – Goodwin Procter has been riding high on M&A wave that reached $311.8 trillion for the first half of 2021, according to Refinitiv data on more than 30,000 globally announced deals.

Boston-founded Goodwin had a hand in more of those transactions than any other law firm, advising on 460 deals totaling more than $90 billion in the first two quarters. The firm edged out U.S. law firm revenue leader Kirkland & Ellis, with its far bigger corporate department, by one representation.

Looking to keep up and snag even greater market share, Goodwin has also been on a hiring tear, which it continued on Wednesday with the addition of dealmaker James Moriarty from Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel.

Moriarty, who co-chaired Kramer Levin’s corporate department, is joining Goodwin as a partner in its private equity practice in New York and Santa Monica, the firm said.

His clients include middle-market private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies. He has a sub-specialty in the education space, where private equity sponsors are investing in education technology companies.

“His practice is an example of why we were as interesting to Jim as he was to us,” said A.J. Weidhaas, co-chair of Goodwin’s private equity practice.

Goodwin has added at least 15 partners to the practice since May 2020, and said it now has more than 300 in the U.S., Europe and Hong Kong.

The firm has also added nearly 50 lawyers to its technology practice in 2021 so far. Last month, it brought on a nine-lawyer team from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, a partner from Latham & Watkins and a pair of dealmakers from Jones Day.

So far in 2021, Goodwin has completed 40 U.S. equity deals worth $13.2 billion, coming in third among law firms advising on equity deals as ranked by the number of deals, according to Refinitiv data. Cooley and Latham & Watkins came in first and second place for equity deals by value and number of deals completed, respectively.

With its $91.6 billion in total global M&A deals for the first half of 2021, Goodwin still trails far behind the top advisors by combined deal value. With $363.7 billion in deals, White & Case was the leading firm by that metric in the first half, according to Refinitiv’s figures.

Read more:

White & Case takes lead on global deals amid 1H M&A surge

Goodwin taps Orrick team, Jones Day duo in mass tech hire

Additional reporting by Arriana McLymore

David Thomas

David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at d.thomas@thomsonreuters.com and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.

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David Thomas