Latham & Watkins dealmaker Eric Schwartzman is joining Baker McKenzie as head of its private equity practice in California.
Schwartzman joins as a partner in North America transactional and global private equity practice groups, the firm said Monday. “We’ve been singularly focused on growing our M&A practice in California,” said Leif King, head of Baker McKenzie’s California transactional group.
Schwartzman spent over a decade at Latham, becoming co-chair of its New York corporate department. He also served on the firm’s recruitment committee.
He joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges’ Silicon Valley office in 2012 before heading to Cooley four years later. He rejoined Latham’s San Francisco office in 2020.
Baker McKenzie has been on push to grow its M&A and private equity presence in California and over the last year and a half. It has added roughly 30 partner in key business markets. The firm brought on Kirkland & Ellis private equity and M&A partner Erika Lopez in Chicago late last year.
Baker McKenzie’s growth ambitions were part of the draw for Schwartzman, he said. “There’s something great that already exists and something that is still growing and building, and we’re going to build further,” he said.
King, who joined Baker McKenzie in 2019 from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, added: “Our goal is to be the largest and best cross border transactional firm in California and we are going to continue to grow to achieve that goal.”
Schwartzman works with private equity sponsors, their portfolio companies, and public and private companies on mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, recapitalizations, take-privates, carve-outs, restructurings, and joint ventures in industries including technology, telecom, media and entertainment.
He advised Ares Management Corp.’s $3.8 billion acquisition of Asia-focused private equity firm Crescent Point Capital in 2023 and Silver Lake and its portfolio company Vacasa in its acquisition of TurnKey Vacation Rentals. He also worked on Vacasa’s $4.5 billion de-SPAC business combination with TPG Pace Solutions in 2022.
He has worked with other private equity companies including Carlyle, Searchlight Capital, Warburg Pincus and Welsh Carson.