Legal Industry

Shearman & Sterling adds Winston M&A leader in D.C.

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REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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(Reuters) - Shearman & Sterling is building out its private equity team in Washington, D.C., by adding one of Winston & Strawn's leading dealmakers.

Christopher Zochowski, who co-chaired Winston's M&A practice and chaired its permanent capital practice, has joined Shearman as a partner alongside Bradley Noojin, another Winston M&A partner, Shearman announced Monday.

Zochowski said Shearman was an ideal place to set up shop, given its corporate presence in Washington, its international reach and its Wall Street brand.

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With those qualities in mind, Zochowski said, "You start to realize the list gets extremely short, and Shearman is at the top of that list."

Zochowski also cited the recent return of Mark Shapiro to the firm. Shapiro, the former head of restructuring at Lehman Brothers, rejoined Shearman as chairman of its financial restructuring and insolvency group in January.

Having both Zochowski and Noojin on board will "augment our private equity platform," said Shearman senior partner David Beveridge in a statement.

Zochowski was part of a group of nine partners who jumped from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman to Winston in 2015. Pillsbury's corporate practice in New York, which Zochowski was a part of, was described as a "crown jewel" at the time by legal observers. Zochowski was the global corporate and securities chair at Pillsbury.

He is the latest Winston partner to leave the firm in the past two weeks. Last week, the firm lost Christina Roupas, its capital markets and securities practice chair, and Richard Ginsberg, the partner-in-charge of Winston's Chicago office, as Cooley cannonballed into the Chicago market.

Shearman has seen its fair share of turnover this year. Earlier this month, Merritt Johnson, a Shearman partner who counted major financial institutions as his clients, joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

The firm saw other U.S. partners join King & Spalding and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati earlier this year, while a team of eight international arbitration partners started their own firm. Shearman also welcomed partners from Allen & Overy and Baker earlier this year.

Zochowski in a statement said Shearman is "focused on growing its corporate and private equity platforms" and touted its "deeply established M&A and capital markets practices."

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Reporting by David Thomas

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