Orrick Continues Growth of London Private Equity Platform with Duo of Rising Stars


Orrick announced today that the firm has continued the growth of our fast-expanding London and European private equity platform with the additions of James Connor from Simpson Thacher and Daniel Wayte from Milbank.

“Private equity is a strategic priority for us and is essential to our focus on the tech, energy & infrastructure and finance sectors. We’re thrilled to be growing our team with talent of the caliber of James and Dan, who have experience representing some of the most active players in this market,” said Kolvin Stone, Orrick’s London office leader.  

“We have real momentum in our pan-European M&A and private equity practice, and this is another tremendous step forward in executing our London corporate growth strategy,” noted London Head of Corporate Anthony Riley, who was the most active lawyer in the UK M&A market last year (Mergermarket).

James and Dan’s additions bring Orrick’s 2018 lateral hires to 36, including six in London.

James Connor

James’ practice focuses on corporate transactions, including both private M&A and public company takeovers, equity capital markets (including IPOs), and a variety of English company law and listed company and corporate governance matters. He has represented private equity firms, investment banks and corporate clients across a range of industries. In the private equity space, James has regularly acted for KKR, Blackstone, Arle Capital Partners, CVC and First Reserve and their portfolio companies. He notably advised KKR and Pets at Home Group plc on Pets at Home’s London main market IPO, KKR’s first and only IPO of a portfolio company in the UK. More recently, James has advised Melrose Industries PLC on its £8.1 billion hostile takeover of GKN plc, Twenty-First Century Fox on aspects of its competitive offer for Sky plc, Groupe Fnac SA on its contested acquisition of Darty plc, and Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan on Michael Kors’s acquisition of Jimmy Choo plc. James began his career at Slaughter and May before moving to Simpson Thacher.

Daniel Wayte

Dan’s practice covers a broad range of cross-border and domestic M&A, corporate and securities matters. He advises on private and public M&A, joint ventures, minority and preferred equity investments and equity capital markets and corporate governance matters. Dan has also worked extensively with upper and mid-market private equity and hedge fund clients, as well as investment banks and companies, and across many different industry sectors. Clients for whom he has acted include Terra Firma, KKR, NCB Capital, EIG Global Energy Partners, Anchorage Capital and Highbridge. Recent highlights include advising Terra Firma on its sale of AWAS Aviation to Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, KKR Credit on a joint venture with Urban Exposure to provide finance for UK residential developments and NCB Capital on an aircraft leasing joint venture with Aercap. Dan is recognized by Legal 500 UK for Upper Mid-Market M&A. He began his career at Slaughter and May before moving to Milbank.

About Orrick’s Private Equity and M&A Practice

Orrick is a top 15 M&A firm globally (Mergermarket). Advisors to seven of the top 15 global private equity funds, our team completed more than 320 deals in 2017. We are the #5 most active firm for private equity in Europe and #3 for private equity in the energy sector globally (PitchBook, 2017). Additionally, Orrick ranked as the most active venture capital law firm in Europe for the 10th quarter in a row, and #3 globally for the second quarter of 2018 (PitchBook).

These additions continue a year of focused investment for Orrick. Most recently, the firm added acquisition finance partner Christine Kaniak from Kirkland & Ellis in Munich and tax partner Laurent Olléon from the Conseil d’Etat in Paris. Other London hires this year have included: energy-focused private equity practitioner Paul Doris from Watson Farley, energy disputes lawyer Mark Beeley from Vinson & Elkins, international arbitration practitioner James Hargrove from Eversheds, and European tech rising star Ali Ramadan from Bird & Bird.