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With merger in sight, Holland & Knight continues to build out

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(Reuters) - Holland & Knight is continuing to beef up ahead of its Aug. 1 merger with Thompson & Knight, announcing on Thursday it is bringing on another lateral partner as a practice lead.

Bryan Gadol joins Holland & Knight from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in its Orange County office, where he'll lead the firm's California corporate, M&A and private equity practice.

Making the move with Gadol is Wendy Kottmeier, an Orrick of counsel who joins Holland & Knight as a partner. The duo have worked together for 20 years on M&A and private equity transactions and have a roster of "high-profile, high-quality" private equity clients, all of whom are coming over with them, said David Barkus, the co-leader of Holland & Knight’s corporate, M&A and securities practice group and the leader of the firm's private equity team.

"When we hire people like Bryan and Wendy, normally one and one equals two, but in the case of adding people like Bryan and Wendy, we think one and one will equal three or more," Barkus said.

Past clients of theirs have included financial technology company BlueSnap, beauty formulations firm Benchmark Cosmetic Laboratories, and light electric vehicle company Last Mile Holdings Ltd, according to Orrick.

This is the second day in a row Holland & Knight has tapped outside talent to lead apractice group. On Wednesday, the firm announced that it had brought on Olesya Barsukova-Bakar, the co-leader of the real estate funds formation practice at Hogan Lovells, to head its own real estate funds formation practice.

Barkus added the firm will announce more private equity hires in the coming weeks.

Gadol and Kottmeier's hiring comes less than three weeks before Miami-based Holland & Knight ties the knot with Dallas-based Thompson & Knight, creating a 1,600-lawyer firm that will operate under Holland & Knight's name.

The merger is the biggest of its kind since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year. It would bolster Holland & Knight's presence in Texas. Companies in the Lone Star state often have California work that can be done by attorneys like Gadol and Kottmeier, said Jose Sirven, the leader of Holland & Knight's business section.

"That’s going to result in more opportunities in California, and vice versa," Sirven said.

Read More:

Holland & Knight snags Hogan Lovells partner to lead real estate funds group

Holland & Knight, Thompson & Knight cement Aug. 1 merger plans

David Thomas reports on the business of law, including law firm strategy, hiring, mergers and litigation. He is based out of Chicago. He can be reached at d.thomas@thomsonreuters.com and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.

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