15:51, November 28 326 0

2016-11-28 15:51:16
Covington in talks to hire KWM litigation boss Pollack

Covington & Burling is understood to be on the brink of hiring King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) head of litigation and SJ Berwin lifer Craig Pollack.

Pollack will join former head of the practice Alex Leitch at the US firm, as well as partner Greg Lascelles, who moved over earlier this year.

He is the last of the big name SJ Berwin litigators to exit the firm following the departures of: Leitch to Covington, Hilton Mervis to Arnold & Porter, Tim Beale to Byrne & Partners and Justin Michaelson to Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.

Pollack was understood to be one of the most vocal supporters of riding out the turbulence at KWM over the last year, and is understood to have held several discussions with more junior lawyers about remaining at the firm.

News of his impending exit comes as KWM attempts to sell its EUME partnership off to the highest bidder following two failed recapitalisations.

The Chinese and Australian arms of the KWM verein had pledged to inject around £6m of capital into Europe on condition partners signed year lock-ins, but just a fifth of partners agreed to the terms.

A KWM spokesperson released a statement following the second failed capital call, which read: “The EUME Partnership Board and management are considering a range of strategic options, including mergers, in conjunction with the firm’s bankers and financial advisers. A further statement will be made in due course.”

KWM has been being advised by CMS Cameron McKenna partner Rita Lowe on its restructuring plans. Lowe has spent her career advising law firms and other businesses on administrations and significant restructurings, including Dewey & Le Boeuf.