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Kirkland hires Paul Hastings secondaries expert – exclusive

The appointment is the latest in a series of hires over the last 18 months at the law firm giant.

Kirkland & Ellis, the biggest law firm in the secondaries market by deal volume advised, has continued the build out of its team with the hire a lawyer from Paul Hastings.

Tarsis_Goncalves_Kirkland
Gonçalves: Worked on some of the best-known recent European deals

Társis Gonçalves joins in the London office as of Monday as a partner within the investment funds team, the firm confirmed to Secondaries Investor. He will work alongside Ted Cardos, who leads the firm’s European secondaries activity, as well as partners Andy Shore, Chris Townsend, Ben Harding and Jacqueline Eaves.

Gonçalves spent a year at Paul Hastings, having joined with former colleagues from Hogan Lovells in July last year. That team rejoined Hogan Lovells in June, as Secondaries Investor reported.

Gonçalves’ experience in GP-led deals and fund secondaries makes him a rare and ideal hire, Cardos said. He has a particular focus on the energy and infrastructure sector and has represented firms including Pantheon Ventures, Idinvest Partners and the Kuwait Investment Office.

“Secondaries differs to traditional M&A transactions in that it doesn’t involve a seller who is going to walk away,” Cardos said. “Our team is dedicated to secondaries – we do this day in day out and it’s all that we do. We understand the [secondaries] market and its different nuances.”

Gonçalves’ appointment brings the number of lawyers dedicated to secondaries in Kirkland’s London office to 10. The firm has 24 lawyers who work on secondaries in total based in London.

Kirkland advised on $50 billion-worth of deals last year, according to the Secondaries Investor Law Firm Survey 2020. It acted on 37 GP-led transactions, 59 portfolio sales and 26 preferred equity investments.

The firm has additional plans to bulk up its secondaries team globally, investment funds partner Christopher Braunack said.

Europe has been a “happy hunting ground” to build resources as much of the technology for GP-led deals has emanated from the region, he added, citing deals such as Nordic Capital’s landmark restructuring of its 2008-vintage fund, on which Kirkland advised, as a watershed moment for the industry. That deal – in which €1.5 billion worth of net asset value traded – remains the largest GP-led secondaries process to have closed.

Paul Hastings did not return a request for comment.