Ropes & Gray Opening London Office

Maurice Allen and Michael Goetz have agreed to join law firm Ropes & Gray, after serving as co-heads of the banking and capital markets practice groups of White & Case. The pair will help Ropes & Gray open a London office in January, which will focus on the private equity and debt markets.


Ropes & Gray LLP announced that leading finance lawyers Maurice Allen and Michael Goetz will join the firm and spearhead the launch of its London office in January 2010. Allen and Goetz will enhance the firm’s ability to serve its sophisticated private equity, private investment fund, and finance-sector clients in the United Kingdom and Europe. Senior U.S. partners Newcomb Stillwell and David Chapin will be helping their new colleagues launch and grow the London office, demonstrating Ropes & Gray’s commitment to establishing a world-class service center in an important market.

“We are delighted that Maurice and Mike have decided to join Ropes & Gray, but our clients are the real beneficiaries,” said Brad Malt, the chairman of Ropes & Gray. “Our expansion into the United Kingdom gives us coverage to execute on our clients’ global mandates, and Maurice and Mike have the experience, service orientation, and business acumen to provide the cutting-edge advice for which our private equity and debt practices are renowned.”

Ropes & Gray has globally recognized private equity and debt practices, offering an ideal platform for the experienced London practitioners. The firm’s Private Equity practice group is consistently rated among the top PE practices and in 2009 garnered the Chambers Award for Excellence in the category of “Investment Funds.” The firm’s clients include 11 of the 25 so-called “mega fund” firms and more than 20 “mid-market” firms that routinely do transactions in the $100 million to $1 billion range. In the past 12 months, the firm represented private equity sponsors in a third of major North American buyouts.

“Ropes & Gray is an elite firm with an extraordinary platform in the global equity and debt marketplace,” said Allen. “Drawing on our familiarity with the sophisticated London finance market, Mike and I will bring our wealth of experience to bear on behalf of the firm’s clients. This is a terrific fit for us and the firm.”

“With their background in private equity and debt, as well as their proven track record in the competitive London market, Maurice and Mike are uniquely qualified to lead our expansion into the United Kingdom,” said David Chapin, a private equity and M&A partner. “To help our new partners launch and expand the London office, Newcomb Stillwell, a former head of Ropes & Gray’s Private Equity Practice Group, and I will devote a significant amount of time to our London office.”

Allen and Goetz are well-suited to lead Ropes & Gray’s private equity and debt-focused London office, which will open in January 2010. The two lawyers were co-heads of the banking and capital markets practice groups of White & Case, leading that firm’s London office as it grew from 65 to 400 fee earners.

The opening of a London office marks Ropes & Gray’s fourth move into key geographic markets in the past two years, following openings in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Chicago. With a new office in London, Ropes & Gray will be in a better position to serve its existing clients, as well as the clients of the firm’s new partners.

“This is a marvelous opportunity for Maurice and me,” said Goetz. “Ropes & Gray has demonstrated its commitment to growth in markets like London, that are a center of existing and prospective clients. We, in turn, are committed to helping the firm continue its upward trajectory.”

Allen has practiced law for more than 25 years in the London finance market, focusing on complex transactions and cross-border financings. He has advised extensively on matters such as acquisition finance, telecom financings, restructurings and workouts. Goetz, one of the City’s most prominent lawyers, represents clients in leveraged lending and acquisition finance matters, among other complex transactions. He also brings considerable experience in bankruptcies and business reorganizations.

Ropes & Gray is a full-service, global law firm that works with clients across a wide variety of industries to successfully address their greatest legal challenges and achieve their business goals. With more than 1,000 professionals located in leading centers of finance, technology and government, we bring an unparalleled passion for excellence, new ideas and a true team spirit to every project.