Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison is close to making its first lateral partner hire in the City, recruiting from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Simpson Thacher corporate partner Alvaro Membrillera is understood to be poised to join Paul Weiss’ London office as its third UK-based partner.

He is also US-qualified, meaning Paul Weiss will continue not to have any English law capabilities in London.

Paul Weiss’ other London partners – securities partner Mark Bergman and private equity partner David Lakhdir – launched the firm’s City office in 2001 after relocating from New York.

Membrillera joined Simpson Thacher’s London office in 2002 after working as an associate at Cuatrecasas in Spain. He is also admitted to practice law in Spain.

Promoted to Simpson Thacher’s partnership in 2010, Membrillera advises clients such as KKR, Blackstone Group and Apax Partners in corporate finance transactions in Europe.

He also acts for corporate clients in M&A deals in Latin America and for underwriters in high yield debt offerings in Europe.

Paul Weiss and Simpson Thacher were contacted for comment.