US law giant Latham makes secondaries partner hire

Latham & Watkins has hired a Kirkland & Ellis partner to help boost its secondaries capabilities.

Latham & Watkins, the second-largest law firm in the world by revenue, is continuing to build out its secondaries capabilities.

John Kelley has joined the firm’s New York Investment Funds Practice as a partner, according to a statement. Kelley joins from Kirkland & Ellis, where he spent five and a half years, his LinkedIn profile says.

Kelley represents investment managers in the structuring and execution of secondaries transactions and the formation of private investment funds, according to the statement.

He works on portfolio sales, GP-led deals, preferred equity, direct secondaries and synthetic secondaries transactions. He also represents institutional investors on their investments into alternatives funds.

“[Kelley’s] broad funds experience, particularly his focus on secondary transactions and work with private credit fund sponsors, enhances our ability to meet the demand for our market-leading funds and private equity work and stay ahead of our clients’ needs,” said Marc Jaffe, managing partner of Latham’s New York office.

Kelley is the third partner to join Latham’s Investment Funds Practice in recent months and its second with secondaries experience. In June, it hired Jamie Lynn Walter at its Washington DC office. She advises investment advisers and family offices on secondaries transactions, fund restructurings and team spinouts.

Latham has up to now been a peripheral player in the world of secondaries, behind firms such as Proskauer, Ropes & Gray and the most active firm, Kirkland & Ellis. It has yet to participate in Secondaries Investor‘s annual legal survey, which saw the participation of 17 firms this year.