Paul Weiss Picks Up Pair of Partners from Skadden, Willkie (1)

April 12, 2021, 10:01 AM; Updated: April 12, 2021, 10:09 PM

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is expanding its New York office with a pair of partners, including the co-chair of Willkie Farr & Gallagher’s finance practice group, as the Wall Street firm continues its strategic growth.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom tax partner Brian Krause is joining Paul Weiss’s tax department and Willkie finance partner David Tarr is joining its corporate department.

Paul Weiss has made several high-profile hires so far this year.

The firm brought on Sullivan & Cromwell partner Krishna Veeraraghavan as a partner in its corporate department in New York in January. On the West Coast that same month, the firm added four partners from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Kirkland & Ellis to help establish its office in San Francisco, building off its additions of Boies Schiller Flexner litigators Karen Dunn and Bill Isaacson last year.

Paul Weiss has had tons of growth in its M&A, private equity, and restructuring practices, key areas of focus for the firm, and Krause and Tarr are “leaders in their fields supporting those practices,” said Scott Barshay, chair of Paul Weiss’s corporate department, in an interview.

Krause, a longtime Skadden attorney, works on U.S. and international tax matters, with a particular focus on cross-border transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, internal restructurings, and the establishment of private equity fund and hedge fund structures. He also provides tax advice in connection with restructuring of corporations and partnerships.

He recently advised Pfizer Inc. on the tax aspects of its 2018 joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline plc that created the world’s largest maker of over-the-counter products, as well as Exxon Mobil Corp. in its $10 billion joint venture with Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) for their Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project that is set to come online in 2022.

He also advised Worldpay, Inc. in its $43 billion merger with FIS and Frontier Communications Corp. in its $10.54 billion acquisition of the wireline operations from Verizon Communications Corp. Bankruptcy-related clients have included Atlas Resource Partners, L.P., Triangle USA Petroleum Corp., and CIT Group Inc.

Tarr, a former White & Case associate, joined Willkie in 2014 from Kirkland & Ellis. He has advised private equity sponsors, corporate borrowers, and lenders in an array of secured and unsecured transactions, with an emphasis on leveraged and acquisition finance.

He recently represented Precinmac Precision Machining in its acquisitions of Viper Northwest Inc. and Shields Manufacturing Inc. as well as Insight Partners in several transactions, including its acquisitions of Veeam, Diligent, and Recorded Future, and The Sterling Group in multiple acquisitions and recapitalizations.

Paul Weiss’s strategy has been to represent big public companies and private equity firms in large key deals, Barshay said.

In order to do so, “we need to have the right level of support in all of the areas that are core to what we do and that includes financing and tax, so having [Krause and Tarr] join us will absolutely allow us to provide better service to our clients,” he said.

Public company M&A, private equity, litigation, white collar, and regulatory and restructuring will remain key areas of focus for the firm and it will “continue to make strategic investments in those areas,” though most of its partners and growth will come internally, Barshay said.

The lateral market has been strong in 2021, particularly in big U.S. cities like New York, as Wall Street firms like Paul Weiss have vastly outperformed financial expectations set at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Propelled by strong demand in its transactional and restructuring practices, Paul Weiss saw its gross revenue increase last year 11.2% to $1.54 billion and its profits per equity partner jump 14.3% to $5.369 million, according to figures from the American Lawyer.

Momentum continued through the first quarter of 2021, as Paul Weiss advised on 41 deals worth $93 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, including General Electric Capital Aviation Services’ $30 billion merger with Aercap Holdings and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s $2.5 billion acquisition of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.

“This is just a very, very busy time in the corporate world and we’re not seeing the demand starting to go down, we’re seeing, if anything, the demand for our services go up,” Barshay said.

In the political realm, firm Chairman Brad Karp also recently waded into the national debate over Georgia’s new voting law. Karp recently signed a letter from Big Law alumni opposing disenfranchisement of voters and along with AIG’s top lawyer, Lucy Fato, circulated a statement along similar lines that has been signed by more than 60 AmLaw 100 leaders and nearly 20 general counsel.

(Updates paragraph 18 to include new information about a voting rights statement.)

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

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

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