Paul Hastings LLP (Europe)

The Scoop

Though perhaps best known in the US for its stellar employment practice, Paul Hastings's endeavours fall all over the map-literally. The firm has evolved into a multifaceted powerhouse, with 1,000 lawyers in 18 offices around the world managing a spectrum of corporate, litigation, intellectual property, immigration and real estate work.

Exponential growth

In 1951, Harvard Law School graduates Lee Paul, Robert Hastings and Leonard Janofsky pooled their ambition to form a firm in Los Angeles. Partner Charles Walker joined the trio in 1962, adding his name to the masthead. In 1974, the firm opened its second office in Orange County; locations in Atlanta, Washington DC, New York and Connecticut followed. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the firm eschewed mergers or acquisitions of other firms in favour of organic growth.

Paul Hastings made its overseas debut in Tokyo in 1988 and then landed in London in 1997. In 2002, Paul Hastings merged with Chinese law shop Koo and Partners, adding offices in Hong Kong and Beijing. The firm opened offices in San Diego and Shanghai the next year, Paris and Brussels in 2004, Palo Alto and Milan in 2005, and Chicago in 2006. In 2008, Paul Hastings merged with Frankfurt house Smeets Haas Wolff.

Powerhouse practices

In the 1990s, Paul Hastings reorganised its practice around five core specialties: real estate, business law, employment law, litigation and tax law. Of these, employment law was considered the firm's greatest strength. Paul Hastings has also won numerous awards for its litigation, corporate and M&A practices. Notable clients have included Hitachi, JP Morgan, Barclays Capital, Mitsubishi, Wells Fargo Capital Finance, Delta Power, Morgan Stanley and Six Flags. To keep up with client demands during the global financial crisis in the 2000s, Paul Hastings also established a subprime mortgage and credit crisis practice area, focusing on bankruptcy and restructuring, regulatory matters, litigation and investigations, and government advisory services.

London bridge

The gateway to its European practice since 1997, Paul Hastings' London office focuses on corporate and real estate finance transactions, capital markets, commercial lending, M&A, litigation, employment and tax. Supporting clients in their international financings, investments and relationships among Asia, Europe and the Americas, lawyers in the London office have particular experience in multi-jurisdictional European transactions, and the office has dedicated Irish and Italian practice groups. The London office is also undergoing a growth spurt: Since 2007, revenue has climbed by some 33 per cent, according to The Lawyer, while headcount has increased by nearly 40 per cent-thanks, in part, to the absorption of 19 lawyers, including seven partners, from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft in 2009.

Recent News

New leader in London

In 2011, Paul Hastings welcomed a new managing partner in London. In April, Phil Feder stepped down from the role in order to return to his hometown of Los Angeles, and Ronan O'Sullivan, vice-chair of the firm's corporate department, took over. In July 2011, the M&A Advisor presented O'Sullivan with its "40 Under 40" Award. The award recognises leading professionals under the age of 40 who have made outstanding accomplishments in M&A, financing and turnaround. O'Sullivan, who joined the firm from Herbert Smith in 2005, was honoured for overseeing the successful establishment and growth of the London corporate finance practice.

Corporate build

Paul Hastings has been engaged in something of a hiring spree, with special efforts focused on building the firm's global private equity practice and its corporate team in London. In February 2011, the firm brought five partners to its Paris office, including the corporate chiefs of both Hogan Lovells' and Proskauer Rose's Paris offices. In April, former Morrison & Foerster counsel Suzanne Horne joined Paul Hastings as the head of UK employment. And in June, corporate partner Garrett Hayes joined the London office from City firm Macfarlanes.

Engineering a massive deal

In February 2011, lawyers in the London office led a multi-national Paul Hastings team that acted for Jacobs Engineering Group Inc in its $913 million acquisition of Aker Solutions ASA's process and construction business. Jacobs Engineering Group, a Fortune 500 company, is one of the world's largest providers of technical, professional and construction services. The Oslo-based Aker Solutions provides engineering and construction services, technology products and integrated solutions.

A Trump tower in Tbilisi

In March 2011, Paul Hastings represented private investment company Silk Road Group in a deal with American billionaire Donald Trump. Trump's debut in the central Asian real estate market includes plans to develop more than 100 luxury residential units in Batumi, a resort town in the Republic of Georgia, and a tower hotel in Georgia's capital Tbilisi. On behalf of Silk Road, Paul Hastings helped engineer an agreement to license the Trump brand for construction and development of the properties.

Funding future generations

In March 2011, Paul Hastings created a scholarship to support a financially-deserving postgraduate student at the University of Oxford. The Paul Hastings Scholarship at Oxford Law will fund a scholarship each year for a postgraduate law student with an outstanding record of academic achievement who might not otherwise be able to pursue further studies for financial reasons. Students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply.

▲ Show Less▼ Show Full Description

Paul Hastings LLP (Europe)

Eighth Floor
10 Bishops Square
London E1 6EG
Phone: +44 (0)20 7710 2000


  • Employer Type: Private
  • London Managing Partner: Ronan O'Sullivan
  • Total No. Attorneys 2011: 1,000

Major Office Locations

  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Shanghai, China
  • Beijing, China
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • Orange County, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Chicago, IL
  • New York, NY
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Paris, France
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Milan, Italy
  • Tokyo, Japan
▲ Show Less▼ Show All

Become a Vault Basic Member

Complete your Vault Profile and get seen by top employers