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Goodwin Captures Private Equity Team from Sidley in London (1)

Sept. 24, 2020, 5:13 PMUpdated: Sept. 24, 2020, 6:23 PM

Goodwin Procter expanded its private equity bench in London with the addition of a team of five partners from Sidley Austin, including former practice co-leaders Erik Dahl and Christian Iwasko.

The lateral hires are in addition to two private equity lawyers Goodwin hired earlier this year in London, bringing its private equity ranks to 120 lawyers in Europe. The firm has also recruited for the practice in the U.S. and Hong Kong, growing the group to 250 lawyers globally.

Sidley has been making a concerted push to build out a major private equity presence, hiring laterals from more established PE practices.

The attorneys joining Goodwin from Sidley are Dahl, who had been co-leader of its private equity practice, Iwasko, who had been co-leader of the European corporate and equity group, and their colleagues Sava Savov, Michelle Tong, and John Van De North.

Dahl and Iwasko moved to Sidley from Kirkland & Ellis four years ago.

In a statement, Larry Barden, chair of Sidley’s management committee, wished the group departing for Goodwin well.

“The depth, strength and continuing expansion of our global private equity practice allow us to provide seamless service to clients, even when there is some shift in a few members of the team,” said Barden.

The jostling among firms for talent in the private equity space gives a glimpse into a market that is lucrative and increasingly competitive with some newcomers to the area vying with heavyweight contenders such as Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins.

Last year Sidley said it saw $300 million in private equity revenues, about six times what such work brought in eight years prior. It had hired Dahl in 2016 from Kirkland’s London office as part of its strategy to greatly expand its mergers and acquisitions work.

Richard Lever, London-based partner in Goodwin’s private equity practice, said in a statement that the Boston-founded global firm is carving out its own place.

“Over the past five years, our global practice has grown significantly and established itself as the leader across the most complex, nuanced transactions, to which our unique combination of private equity know-how and deep experience across market-driving industries repeatedly gives our clients a distinct edge,” he said.

Dahl and Iwasko join Goodwin on Oct. 1, and the others are set to follow after their notice period.

“The momentum created by the firm’s growth and success across Europe and the private equity sector makes this an extremely exciting proposition for us,” Dahl said in a statement.

(Added statement from Sidley's Larry Barden in paragraphs four and five.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Olson in Washington at

To contact the editor on this story: Rebekah Mintzer in New York at