KWM corporate co-head Lever quits to launch Goodwin Procter PE practice

King & Wood Mallesons’ (KWM) co-head of corporate Richard Lever is joining Goodwin Procter’s London office following the firm’s decision to launch a private equity practice.

Lever’s departure to Goodwin Procter comes days after The Lawyer exclusively revealed the firm’s plans to launch a City-based private equity practice alongside its real estate capabilities (13 April 2015).

The firm’s London head David Evans said Lever was a good fit with Goodwin Procter both professionally and personally.

“He connects well with our US mid-market strengths and he’s firmly placed in the mid-market here,” Evans said. “In terms of the business fit it’s perfect. On the personal fit, he’s the kind of guy we need. He’s at the right stage of his career and has the right skills.”

Evans has previously said the firm was committed to organic growth and had plans to roll out growth “in twos and threes” as part of Goodwin Procter’s expansion plans. This growth strategy follows a 4.4 per cent hike in revenue to £521.5m in the firm’s 2014 year-end results (2 February 2015). 

Lever was promoted to co-practice head alongside Michael Goldberg in 2013, replacing City corporate head Steven Davis (11 December 2013). Davis left the firm in 2014 to join Proskauer Rose (26 September 2014).

KWM has lost a string of corporate and private equity partners over the last 18 months. Tim Wright joined DLA Piper in May (8 May 2014), following Ed Harris, who quit for Hogan Lovells along with up-and-coming senior associate Leanne Moezi in late 2013 (22 October 2013). Private equity partner Graham Nicholson also left the firm to join boutique funds outfit MJ Hudson the following month (19 November 2013).

Lever has extensive experience in corporate finance and focuses on advising private equity sponsors, public and private companies, financial institutions in the private equity, consumer and business sectors.

Evans said the firm would look to grow the practice around Lever.