King & Spalding Adds to Private Equity, Energy Infrastructure Footprint

Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg

King & Spalding is expanding its presence in New York and Washington. It’s adding eight private equity lawyers, including Jonathan Melmed, a private equity lawyer in the energy sector who will deepen the firm’s energy bench.

King & Spalding has been growing rapidly this year, adding 11 partners and 11 counsel in its New York office since January. It has more than 1,000 lawyers in 20 offices in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

This most recent group comes largely from Morrison & Foerster. Melmed was formerly co-chair of the private equity practice at MoFo.  At King & Spalding, he will be co-chair of its global private equity practice and head of its U.S. power and infrastructure group. He represents large private equity funds as well as pension plans, sovereign wealth funds and joint investment ventures.

The other hires include infrastructure deal specialists.

King & Spalding has been actively pursuing lateral hires for it is energy industry team. It has added about two dozen lawyers in its energy-related groups over the last 18 months, including more than a half-dozen partners in its Houston office.

“The energy sector is booming,” said Stuart Zisman, a King & Spalding partner in Houston and a deputy industry leader on the firm’s energy industry team.

“We are aiming to offer full service, including every aspect from regulatory, environmental, engineering processes, projects, litigation—the whole range of services,” he explained.

Energy is one of King & Spalding’s main areas of transactional and regulatory work, with traditional oil and energy companies, private equity, and other investors among its clients.

Melmed’s book of business includes clients such as DE Shaw, Instar AGF Infrastructure, Axium Infrastructure, Starwood Energy Group, First Reserve, and US Infrastructure.

He also has advised on acquisitions and sales of solar power plants, port terminals, natural gas plants, power facilities, and other large energy assets.

Melmed is “one of the leading private equity lawyers in the energy and infrastructure space with a demonstrated brand and track record,” Robert D. Hays Jr., chairman of King & Spalding, said in a statement.

“The firm has spent more than three decades building a premier global energy practice. We are excited to have Jonathan and his team join with us as we continue to expand together.”

“King & Spalding’s depth, breadth, brand and talent in the energy sector present a tremendous opportunity for our team and our clients to build on an integrated energy platform supporting transactions around the globe,” Melmed said.

Also coming aboard as new private equity partners are Enrico Granata and Ted Markson. Granata practiced with Melmed at Morrison & Foerster. Markson was previously a partner with Golenbock Eisen Assor Bell & Peskoe, where he was a partner in the tax area. Melmed and Markson were both previously partners at Chadbourne & Parke.

In addition, King & Spalding will add four counsel and one associate to its ranks. The partners are Adam Hankiss, Ashley Arons, and Natascha Kiernan; the associate is Egbert de Groot. Counsel Zori Ferkin joins the firm’s Washington office.

Hankiss, Arons, de Groot, and Ferkin join from Morrison & Foerster. Kiernan was most recently counsel at Skadden Arps, London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Olson in Washington at egolson1@gmail.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom P. Taylor at ttaylor@bloomberglaw.com