Cooley strengthens London corporate team with Skadden partner hire

US firm Cooley has bolstered its London corporate team with the hire of M&A partner Michal Berkner (pictured) from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

Berkner acts for large corporations, private equity houses, investment banks and high-net-worth individuals, with a focus on public and private cross-border deals. She practised with Skadden for more than 20 years.

Berkner’s departure from Skadden’s corporate team is the first since the firm hired private equity heavyweight Richard Youle from White & Case in May.

Cooley’s global M&A co-chair Barbara Borden said: “Michal is a proven leader in complex, high-value M&A transactions. I’m excited that she is joining our team.”

Borden’s co-chair Jamie Leigh added: “Michal is top-tier talent on our ever-expanding bench. We look forward to growing our worldwide platform.”

Berkner said: “The culture and momentum of Cooley were two of my primary draws, coupled of course with its high-end corporate client base. The firm’s commitment to the long-term success of its London office is also most appealing, and I’m happy to be part of a team dedicated to delivering on growth opportunities around the world for our clients.”

Meanwhile, Fieldfisher has scooped up Cooley special counsel Brian Chadwick. Chadwick, who joins as a partner, will set up a new corporate practice at the firm, focusing on the entertainment and games industry.

Prior to joining Cooley in 2016, Chadwick was an executive director and general counsel at games website Miniclip for almost seven years. Prior to joining Miniclip, he practised at McDermott Will & Emery and Ashurst.