Summary List Placement
Reginald Brown, a top financial regulatory lawyer, and three of his partners are leaving WilmerHale for Kirkland & Ellis, his new firm said.
Brown, a partner at WilmerHale who was named in September to a position on Blackstone’s board of directors, has become one of the most prominent lawyers to advise banks and other clients in the regulatory hot seat. It’s the latest big hire by Kirkland & Ellis, a firm known for its high profits and its proximity to the private-equity industry.
He has advised Bank of America on multiple matters over the years, including helping the bank through congressional scrutiny amid the financial crisis and helping it avoid precious-metals spoofing charges, Bloomberg reported earlier this year. He also represented Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign advisor, for a time.
Brown was also vice chair of WilmerHale’s crisis management group. He has reportedly helped numerous executives prepare for testimony before Congress, including Wells Fargo’s new CEO Charlie Scharf and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Daniel Chaudoin, Jeremy Dresner and Daniel Kearney, three other WilmerHale partners, are also making the move, which will take effect on Dec. 1, Kirkland said. All three having experience helping financial institutions, other corporations and senior executives through regulatory matters and disputes, the firm said.
Lauren Drake, a partner at the legal recruiting firm Macrae, said Brown was highly respected and said “countless” law firms have inquired about hiring him over the years. Kirkland has been known to have its top partners reach out directly to desirable candidates, she said, and has a reputation for paying top-dollar for the lawyers it wants.
The hire of Brown, Chaudoin, Dressner and Kearney comes several months after Kirkland’s Washington, D.C. office added another partner, Ivan Schlager, known for helping mergers and investments in sensitive industries get approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US.
Brown is also the latest partner of color to join Kirkland & Ellis. Earlier this year, the firm added Taj Clayton, a Dallas litigator, from Winston & Strawn; Todd Baker, a patent attorney in Washington who was on the management committee at the intellectual property-focused firm Oblon; and Byron Pacheco, who’d been an associate at Boies Schiller Flexner.
Mark Jungers, another recruiter who focuses on high-level partner placements, said Brown’s addition marks just the latest rainmaker to join Kirkland. Several lateral partners sit on the firm’s management committee, he noted, including Jim Hurst, a former leading lawyer at Winston & Strawn who joined Kirkland in 2014.
“The idea of taking market share, battling for something, and triumphing over a rival … at least since I’ve been doing this, that has been a significant additional motivator for [Kirkland] that I think has served them well,” he said.