O’Melveny raids Wilson Sonsini and McDermott

O’Melveny & Myers is ramping up its M&A offering in San Francisco and New York after raids on Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and McDermott Will & Emery.

The Los Angeles-based firm has dealt a blow to McDermott with the hire of three partners, including the firm’s high-profile head of M&A Spencer Klein. Fellow M&A partners Greg Puff and Paul Scrivano are also quitting for O’Melveny.

Klein and Puff were previously partners at Shearman & Sterling before their defection to McDermott in 2002. Scrivano joined McDermott soon afterwards from Cravath Swaine & Moore.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, highly rated M&A partners Steve Camahort, Michael Dorf and Michael Kennedy have quit Wilson Sonsini for O’Melveny’s San Francisco office. Camahort and Kennedy launched Wilson Sonsini’s San Francisco office after defecting from Brobeck Phleger & Harrison in 1999. The trio’s clients include Hewlett-Packard, Juniper Networks, Sun Microsystems, Sybase and Veritas.

The hires are the latest in a period of rapid growth for O’Melveny’s M&A and private equity offerings, beginning with the firm’s 2002 merger with New York private equity boutique O’Sullivan. Since then, the London office has laid down the gauntlet to other private equity practices after a swathe of head-turning hires, including those of former SJ Berwin star Matthew Hudson and DLA’s former head of private equity, Andrew Carpenter.