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Paul Weiss Hires Sullivan & Cromwell New York Deals Partner (1)

Jan. 24, 2021, 9:42 PM; Updated: Jan. 25, 2021, 4:13 PM

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison is bringing on Sullivan & Cromwell partner Krishna Veeraraghavan as a partner in its corporate department in New York.

The firm’s addition of Veeraraghavan, a mergers and acquisitions attorney who has worked on deals involving Amazon.com and California biopharmaceutical company MyoKardia, comes as Paul Weiss continues to expand in tech-rich Northern California. The firm recently hired a number of lawyers with client lists that include some of the country’s top tech companies.

Veeraraghavan, who joined Sullivan & Cromwell in 2006, has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. He has been involved in many high-profile matters related to activism, cross-border transactions, leveraged buyouts and proxy contests.

He recently advised Amazon.com in its $13.7 billion acquisitions of Whole Foods, Concho Resources in its $9.5 billion acquisition of RSP Permian and its $13 billion pending acquisition of ConocoPhillips, Forest City Realty Trust’s $11.4 billion acquisition by Brookfield Asset Management, MyoKardia in its $13.1 billion acquisition by Bristol Myers Squibb, and Praxair’s $80 billion merger with Linde.

Veeraraghavan said his move to Paul Weiss presented him with a “unique opportunity.” The strength of its litigation, restructuring, private equity and corporate M&A practices and the collaboration across those types of representations as well as its growing corporate practice were all attractive, he said.

Paul Weiss has worked with large technology companies, like its representation of telemedicine and virtual health care company Teledoc Health Inc. in a $18.5 billion acquisition of Livongo Health Inc. Its recent expansion into the Bay Area will create more opportunities in the space where deal activity is expected to remain hot, Veeraraghavan said.

The firm announced last week that it’s expanding in Northern California with the hire of four partners from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Kirkland & Ellis. Those lawyers will help Paul Weiss open an office in San Francisco.

Their additions follow the hires of Boies Schiller litigators Karen Dunn and Bill Isaacson, whose client list includes Apple Inc., Oracle Corp., and Amazon.com Inc. founder and chief executive officer Jeff Bezos.

“I think that’s just going to increase the technology practice at the firm and the ability to do more work for those clients,” Veeraraghavan said.

“Our clients are looking to us to provide not just great technical lawyering, but creative advice, strategic advice, tactical advice, commercial advice and Krishna is well recognized as being spectacular in those areas,” said Scott Barshay, chair of Paul Weiss’ corporate department, in a statement.

Barshay joined Paul Weiss in 2016 from Cravath Swaine & Moore, where he led the Wall Street firm’s corporate department.

Paul Weiss had “an incredibly busy year from start to finish in 2020,” Barshay said. “There was no slow down at all,” he added.

Mark Rosen, chairman of Mark Bruce International, who facilitated Barshay’s move to Paul Weiss and Ethan Klingsberg’s move to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, also brokered Veeraraghavan’s move.

Deal Work

Last year, the firm advised on 139 deals worth $128 billion, according to Bloomberg M&A league tables. In addition to Teledoc’s acquisition of Livongo Health, the firm advised Chevron Corp. on its $13 billion takeover of Noble Energy Inc. and Inspire Brands Inc. $11.3 billion purchase of Dunkin’ Brand Group Inc.

Barshay says the pace of work has continued in the first few weeks of the new year and that he expects activity to remain extremely busy. But he also noted that the pandemic has presented a unique opportunity for some firms.

“When you get into uncertain markets, over the course of my career I’ve seen the flight to quality and that is absolutely what we’ve seen,” he said.

(Updated to add information on recruiter Mark Rosen's role in the move in 13th paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

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

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