Debevoise makes counsel promotion in secondaries and co-investment group

The international law firm has made seven growth hires into the group since December.

Debevoise & Plimpton has promoted two secondaries-focused lawyers to counsel, amid several recent growth hires and promotions in the firm’s secondaries and co-investment unit.

Andrew Gershon, a member of the global law firm’s investment management group, and Zhiyan Cao, from the M&A group, have been promoted to counsel in its New York office, according to a statement.

Gershon represents clients on secondaries transactions including traditional acquisitions and disposals of fund interests, leveraged and syndicated acquisitions, direct secondaries transactions, fund recapitalisations and restructurings, tender offers and co-investment opportunities, according to the release.

Cao, who has a history of advising on M&A, disposals and fund investments, and Gershon will both focus on secondaries and co-investment transactions, according to a spokeswoman for the firm.

Since December, Debevoise has added seven people to its alternative asset transactions and liquidity solutions groups, including Gershon.

The hires did not replace any departures. A spokeswoman for Debevoise told Secondaries Investor that the cross-disciplinary nature of the firm’s alternative asset transactions and liquidity solutions practice had facilitated collaboration across practices and geographies, and that this was a key factor behind the expansion.

The firm announced last month that it had promoted London-based Matthew Dickman, who has worked on GP-led deals, to partner. That followed the promotions of two of its professionals whose work includes secondaries, as Secondaries Investor reported in January.

The fight for talent in secondaries remains fierce in the legal world, as it does in the investing and intermediating spheres. Travers Smith added a GP-led focused partner last month, Secondaries Investor reported. In April, Ropes & Gray brought on its third senior lawyer in a year with secondaries experience, in addition to two the firm promoted internally.

This story was updated to reflect Zhiyan Cao will also focus on secondaries transactions in her new role.