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Akin Gump Snags Another Private Equity Duo From Rival Covington

June 22, 2022, 9:26 PM

Akin Gump has hired two more private equity lawyers from competitor Covington & Burling.

Michelle Chan and Daniel Tavakoli are joining Akin Gump’s Manhattan office, the firm said Wednesday. They will reunite with former Covington lawyers Amy Wollensack and Sergio Urias, who jumped to the firm earlier this month.

“Akin Gump is renowned for its corporate practice, and the breadth and depth of its private equity work presented an exciting opportunity to work with an incredible team,” Chan said in a statement. “Plus, I am thrilled to continue to work alongside Amy and Sergio.”

Akin Gump brought in more than $1.2 billion in gross revenue last year, placing among the 40 largest firms in the country, according to data compiled by the American Lawyer. The firm’s equity partners earned more than $3 million apiece last year, on average.

Private equity, which boomed over the past couple of years, has been good to many big firms. Deals nearly doubled between 2020 and 2021, totaling $2.1 trillion that year, according to a January analysis by Bloomberg Law’s Grace Maral Burnett. The market is cooling off, and is likely to cool more should a recession emerge.

Tavakoli, who was an associate at Covington, has represented Goldman Sachs and Blackstone, among other clients. Chan spent four years as a Covington associate, where she represented strategic advisory, aerospace, defense and government companies in private equity deals.

Wollensack, who joined Akin Gump June 6, spent over a decade at Kirkland & Ellis prior to becoming Covington’s private equity co-chair. She shared that role with Urias, who also led Covington’s Latin America practice and previously worked at Kirkland.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maia Spoto in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at