Allen & Overy announced Aug. 8 that Kfir Abutbul joined the firm as head of U.S. energy private equity and a partner in its U.S. corporate private equity and M&A practice. He was previously at Paul Hastings as vice chair of its energy and infrastructure practice and chair of the energy transition team.
Abutbul did not respond via LinkedIn message asking whether he planned to open a Houston office, but A&O merger partner Shearman & Sterling has an outpost in the Bayou City.
The merged law firm A&O Shearman will have nearly 4,000 lawyers, 49 offices and annual revenues of more than $3.4 billion, A&O said.
Abutbul’s departure follows that of tax expert Greg Nelson, who left last month as 11-year chair of Paul Hastings’ Houston office for Gibson Dunn.
A&O said Abutbul is its 47th U.S. lateral hire in the last three years.
Abutbul has nearly 15 years of experience advising on an array of domestic and cross-border transactions within the energy space for private equity sponsors, investors and credit funds, including LBOs, joint ventures and structured equity financings, A&O said.
The attorney has expertise in the energy transition, renewables, power and infrastructure sectors and has also led transactions in non-energy sectors involving complex structured equity products, a practice he helped lead while at Paul Hastings, A&O added.
Deals he’s worked on include advising Oak Hill Advisors last year on one of the largest timberland conservation transactions in history: TPG Rise’s Anew Climate announcement of the $1.8 billion purchase of assets managed by the Forestland Group. The deal was completed by Blue Source Sustainable Forests Co., a joint venture with Oak Hill focused on forest acquisitions and sustainable forest management.
Abutbul also advised on the formation of Sandbrook Capital, a private equity firm created by four Riverstone partners aimed at investments in decarbonization and climate change technologies. Past clients have also included PBF Energy, Brookfield Business Partners and the Sterling Group.
Bill Schwitter, chair of A&O’s U.S. corporate practice, said the addition is an opportunity to continue the expansion of its U.S. PE and M&A practice with a partner who further strengthens its market leading energy transition expertise in the U.S.
“Kfir embodies A&O’s entrepreneurial and collaborative culture,” added Kent Rowey, U.S. co-chair and member of the projects, energy, natural resources and infrastructure practice. “His expertise intersects our firm’s priority areas of sustainability and private capital. Kfir is a key step in continuing our strategic U.S. growth to better serve our global client base.”
Abutbul said he’s excited to join A&O’s team to help further extend the firm’s energy transition practice and private equity platform.
The lawyer is a graduate of Columbia Law School and the University College of London. He was previously at Willkie and Kirkland.