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King & Spalding bets on workforce team with six new partners

2 minute read

The company logo of the law firm King & Spalding is seen in their legal offices in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., May 5, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

  • Firm has expanded new global human capital and compliance practice to nearly 50 lawyers in about a year
  • Hires from Seyfarth, Barnes & Thornburg and Simpson Thacher mark latest additions in Chicago and New York

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(Reuters) - King & Spalding said Tuesday that it has brought on six partners from three rival firms to expand its year-old global human capital and compliance practice.

The new partners include Tom Ahlering, Anne Dana, Gina Merrill, and Jesse Pauker from Seyfarth Shaw; Pete Wozniak from Barnes & Thornburg; and Jenny Neilsson, who will join later this month from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Ahlering, who most recently co-chaired Seyfarth Shaw's biometric compliance group, is joining King & Spalding in Chicago along with Wozniak and Neilsson. Dana, Merrill and Pauker will be based in the firm's New York office.

The lawyers are the latest additions to the firm's global human capital and compliance practice since it was launched last year with a trio of partners from Seyfarth Shaw. Including the new hires, King & Spalding now has about 35 partners in the practice, bringing its total headcount to nearly 50 attorneys.

Darren Gardner, who heads the practice in San Francisco, said the last five years have brought "an evolution" in workplace management issues and priorities.

Partly driven by advances in technology, he said workplace challenges have expanded beyond traditional labor and employment matters, with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the changes and driving additional need for compliance advice.

Merrill, who was at Seyfarth for the past eight years, said she was drawn to King & Spalding's full-service capabilities.

"I was attracted to the entrepreneurial nature of both the (global human capital and compliance) group and the firm," she said.

Representatives from Seyfarth and Simpson Thacher didn't immediately respond to requests for comment on the lawyers' departures. A Barnes & Thornburg representative said the firm wished Wozniak well.

The hires come in the midst of a broader recruiting spree for King & Spalding. The Atlanta-founded firm this month also brought on former Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan partner Lazar Raynal in Chicago and former international arbitration partner Erica Franzetti from Dechert in Washington, D.C., to enhance its trial and global disputes capabilities.

Read more:

King & Spalding launches new global workforce practice with Seyfarth trio

King & Spalding snags Dechert arbitration pro with Brazil ties

King & Spalding snags Quinn litigator as firms compete for Chicago turf

Xiumei Dong covers legal industry news, with a focus on law firm strategy and growth, in-house counsel and the Washington, D.C., legal market. Reach her at Xiumei.Dong@thomsonreuters.com.

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