Bloomberg Law
Feb. 21, 2023, 8:57 PM

Sidley Chair Sees ‘Time to Buy’ After Posting Record Revenue

Roy Strom
Roy Strom

Sidley Austin’s leader says it’s “time to buy” in the lateral partner market, as the firm adds a mergers and acquisitions partner following a growth in revenue last year.

The move underscores how law firms are hiring even as dealmaking remains at a tepid pace and the macroeconomic outlook is clouded by interest rate hikes and a possible recession. Law firm hiring in 2023 is just 1.6% off of last year’s pace, according to data from Leopard Solutions.

“During periods like this of disruption, it’s a great time to invest,” Sidley management committee chair Yvette Ostolaza said in an interview. “We think this is a time to buy.”

Germaine Nicole Gurr
Credit: Firm handout

The firm is adding former White & Case partner Germaine Nicole Gurr, who will work in New York and eventually out of Miami and Los Angeles, Sidley said in a statement.

Gurr’s practice focuses on M&A, private equity, securities offerings, capital raising, joint venture and commercial transactions, according to Sidley.

The hire comes the same month Sidley hired former Shearman & Sterling M&A partner Phil Cheveley in London.

In November, Sidley brought aboard former White & Case international M&A partner Michiel Visser in New York.

Ostolaza, who’s also a member of the firm’s executive committee, declined to specify the firm’s revenues last year but said they would be a record, ecplising last year’s total of nearly $2.8 billion, based on AmLaw data.

Tracking Gurr

Many law firms are expected to report declines in revenue and profits after a down year in transactions that fueled huge gains for many firms in 2020 and 2021.

Despite the downturn in dealmaking, Sidley has committed to growing its nearly 500-lawyer M&A practice, Ostolaza said.

Gurr’s recruitment to Sidley began when she sent a LinkedIn note to Ostolaza congratulating her on becoming chair-elect of Sidley in April 2021. The two had worked together at Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Gurr is a first-generation Cuban American who grew up in Miami, where Sidley opened an office in July. Joining a major law firm led by Ostolaza, who also grew up in Miami with Cuban immigrant parents, resonated with her, Gurr said.

“I joined Sidley because there were a number of my former colleagues who were already at Sidley and I couldn’t wait for another opportunity to work with them,” she said. “But on a personal note, I share a very deep connection to Yvette and our similar family narratives. And I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be part of the firm under her leadership.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Roy Strom in Chicago at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at; John Hughes at

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