Linklaters hits King & Spalding with second magic circle raid

Linklaters’ New York office has continued its aggressive lateral hiring by scooping King & Spalding head of private funds and asset management in its New York office.

Stephen Culhane joins the investment management practice of Linklaters’ New York office after two years at Atlanta-headquartered King & Spalding.

Culhane’s hire comes less than a week after it was revealed that Linklaters had pulled off an audacious raid on White & Case’s New York-based litigation team, netting 16 lawyers, including a new US head of litigation, Larry Byrne.

His hire significantly boosts Linklaters’ private equity offering in New York. Before Culhane, the partner count in the team stood at just one, practice founder Scott Bowie. Bowie was also a lateral hire, from Latham & Watkins, in 2005.

Linklaters’ US managing partner Paul Wickes said in a statement: “Stephen’s election, coming just after those of four US litigation partners, brings our New York team to around 130 lawyers.”

Culhane’s departure is a further blow to the New York private equity practice of King & Spalding. Earlier this month, former partner Dominick DeChiara and senior associate Bradley Vaiana joined Nixon Peabody as partners, with DeChiara becoming head of the firm’s leveraged buyout (LBO) practice.

Clifford Chance also poached the co-head of King & Spalding’s M&A group, John Graham, in September.

Prior to King & Spalding, Culhane spent time in-house at Goldman Sachs, including a period as legal director to the private equity group of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.