Ropes & Gray adds partner with secondaries expertise

The law firm has been growing its PE funds team, which advised on 150 secondaries deals worth $17.5bn in 2019.

Ropes & Gray has continued with the rapid build-out of its private equity fund formation team.

The law firm has appointed Bryan Hunkele as a partner in its New York asset management practice, according to a statement. He joins from Fried Frank, where he represented institutional investors and sponsors on GP-led secondaries deals, the establishment of separately managed accounts and the syndication of direct and co-investments, in addition to fund formation across North America, Europe and Asia.

“Bryan Hunkele has seen and handled just about every type of complex sponsor side private fund issue,” said Bryan Chegwidden, global head of Ropes & Gray’s asset management group. “His skills reinforce that our global private funds sponsor team is the counsel of choice for prestigious buyout fund sponsors, and asset managers.”

Hunkele started at Fried Frank as an associate in 2016, becoming partner in 2019, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He will be the third senior lawyer with secondaries experience to join Ropes & Gray in the last year, following the arrival of partner and EMEA head of funds Tom Alabaster and counsel Chris Townsend, both from Kirkland & Ellis.

In October, the firm promoted secondaries lawyers Adam Dobson, Chune Loong Lum and Justin Kliger to partner.

Ropes & Gray advised on more than 150 deals worth $17.5 billion in 2019, according to the Secondaries Investor Law Firm Survey 2020Among clients they represented were AlpInvest Partners, HarbourVest Partners, Rockefeller Foundation and the Church Pension Fund.