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Freshfields Hires Kirkland Partner to Grow Silicon Valley Team

March 23, 2021, 4:34 PM

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has hired former Kirkland & Ellis partner Joseph Halloum to build out the firm’s upstart Silicon Valley office.

Halloum had been a partner since 2016 at Kirkland, where he worked on major transactions including the sales of Delphi Technologies, Del Frisco’s, and Smart & Final to private equity companies.

The hire adds depth to Freshfields’ Silicon Valley office, which opened in July with splash hires from firms including Davis Polk & Wardwell, Sidley Austin, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. The firm signed a 10-year lease in a new office building in February, and currently lists 16 Silicon Valley lawyers on its website.

Northern California has been one of the busiest markets for lateral hires in recent months, and a flurry of large out-of-town firms have opened offices there in search of more work from technology and life sciences companies. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Debevoise & Plimpton, Jenner & Block, and others have entered the market in the past year.

“We’re delighted to welcome Joseph to our Silicon Valley team,” Sarah Solum, Freshfields’ head of U.S. capital markets and Silicon Valley managing partner, said in a statement. “He brings tremendous energy and talent to our team and joins us at the perfect time, as we expand to meet the needs of our clients.”

U.K.-founded Freshfields’ Silicon Valley growth comes as the firm’s broader transactions practice has developed a significant U.S. presence. The firm hired M&A star Ethan Klingsberg from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in late 2019.

Freshfields landed a top five spot in 2020 for the value of deals it handled advising principals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The firm’s M&A team advised Aon in its $31.4 billion acquisition of Willis Towers Watson and Thyssenkrupp AG in its $18.7 billion sale of its elevator division to a consortium.

To contact the reporter on this story: Roy Strom in Chicago at rstrom@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com