New King & Spalding partner plans massive growth in City

Atlanta-based King & Spalding is looking for significant growth in its London office with the addition of tax and employment teams following the appointment of new managing partner John Keffer.

US corporate partner Keffer replaces litigator George Branch after his completion of a three-year term that started with the six-lawyer London launch in January 2003.

Keffer said: “There’s no target for size or revenue we have to reach, but just to hire smart and hire high quality. We’ll undoubtedly continue to grow.” Charles Alexander, who joined in early 2004 from Weil Gotshal & Manges, takes over from Keffer as London head of corporate.

The firm added its tax capability through Kevin Conway, who joined from Clifford Chance‘s international tax group. The employment law capability was added through Barlow Lyde & Gilbert senior associate Pulina Whitaker, who joined the corporate group. Both started in January.

King & Spalding also hired Héloïse Hervé from the Paris office of Shearman & Sterling and transferred Ken Fleuriet from its Houston office to grow the international arbitration practice group.

King & Spalding ranked 45th in The Lawyer Global 100 2005 with a turnover of $470m (£267m), and has 20 lawyers in its London office.

“We now have depth in our service areas,” Keffer said. He added that raising the firm’s profile in the UK market was a key goal.