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K&L Gates Bolsters Corporate/Private Equity Practice with Addition of Seven-Partner Team in Pittsburgh Office

23 January 2023

Pittsburgh - Global law firm K&L Gates LLP has added a team of seven corporate and private equity partners in the firm’s Pittsburgh office. The group joins K&L Gates from Dentons Cohen & Grigsby and consists of partners Chris Thel, Ron Aulbach, Curt Anderson, John Wingerter, Lauren Crossett, Andrea Steiner, and Jeff Berkey.

A highly-regarded team of corporate practitioners, the partners are trusted advisors and recognized leaders in the private equity, tax, M&A/transactions, and benefits and executive compensation areas. This includes representing private equity and private credit funds with more than $4 billion of assets under management, as well as numerous portfolio companies for those funds.

“We are delighted to welcome this group of dynamic, high-quality lawyers, who bring a wealth of capability in key practice areas and fit beautifully with our growing practice and continuing strategic growth,” stated Jim Segerdahl, K&L Gates’ global managing partner. “They will be an immediately impactful addition to our Pittsburgh office, and to our broader Corporate and Private Equity practice, which works seamlessly across markets.”

Both Thel and Aulbach began their legal careers at K&L Gates: Thel, from 2002 to 2006, and Aulbach, from 1998 until 2012.

K&L Gates’ Co-Managing Partner, United States, and Managing Partner of the Pittsburgh office Thomas J. Smith said: “It is a pleasure to add our former colleagues Chris and Ron and the entire group to our firm. The group is a tremendous addition to our Pittsburgh office, and further positions our firm as a premiere practice in the city and beyond. We expect that combining this team with our existing teams will immediately position us to expand our service to existing and new clients.”

K&L Gates’ Corporate practice is one of the most substantial in the legal industry, with more than 500 lawyers in offices on five continents assisting clients in the structuring, financing, and completion of domestic, international, and cross-border transactions. The group serves as counsel to a broad array of Global 500, Fortune 100, FTSE 100 corporations, privately held and venture-backed companies, partnerships, private equity firms, other investment funds, management groups, and entrepreneurs, helping to earn K&L Gates the distinction of Corporate “Law Firm of the Year” in U.S. News-Best Lawyers’ 2022 “Best Law Firms” report.

“The synergies of this group with our current Private Equity practice and existing and prospective clients in that space across markets are great,” commented Rick Giovannelli, a leader of K&L Gates’ global Corporate and Private Equity practices. “The group’s addition will allow us to better serve and enhance our relationships with many of our private equity funds, portfolio companies, and broader corporate clients.”

The arrival of the private equity team follows the recent hiring of former United States Congressman Mike Doyle as a government affairs counselor in the Pittsburgh office, as well as the additions of corporate and private equity partners James Lonie and Natalya Hards (Sydney), Elio Marena (Milan), Jason Lee (Orange County), Courtney Thomas (Raleigh), Iris Leung (Hong Kong), Kevin McKibbin (Charleston), and Yoanna Stefanova (Luxembourg) all during the past year. They are among nearly 150 partners and of counsel the firm has welcomed across its platform since the beginning of 2020.

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals.

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