Press Release September 24, 2020

Goodwin’s Global Private Equity Practice Welcomes Five-Partner Team in London

Global law firm Goodwin announced today that a team of five partners will join the firm’s top-ranked Private Equity practice in London. Erik Dahl, Christian Iwasko, Sava Savov, Michelle Tong, and John Van De North most recently practiced together at an international law firm, where Dahl served as co-leader of the firm’s private equity practice area and Iwasko was co-head of the European corporate and private equity group. Dahl and Iwasko will start at Goodwin on October 1st, whilst Savov, Tong, and Van De North will join following the completion of their notice periods.

“Every day, more and more clients are choosing Goodwin as their private equity legal advisor,” said Richard Lever, London-based partner in Goodwin’s Private Equity practice. “Over the past five years, our global practice has grown significantly and established itself as the leader across the most complex, nuanced transactions, to which our unique combination of private equity know-how and deep experience across market-driving industries repeatedly gives our clients a distinct edge. We have worked across from Erik, Christian, Sava, Michelle, and John for many years and closely followed the impressive steps that they have taken in building a premier private equity practice. Their addition to the Goodwin private equity group will continue to build on this special value proposition for our clients in London, across Europe, and around the world.” 

  • Erik Dahl has spent the past 20 years leading numerous high-profile, cross-border leveraged buyouts and financial restructurings on behalf of private equity clients and has been at the heart of the strategic build-out of a very successful private equity practice. Dahl has consistently been recognized as a leading Corporate/M&A lawyer in Chambers Global.
     
  • Christian Iwasko counsels European and U.S. funds on complex business transactions from leveraged buyouts to restructurings and everything in between. He is an established leader in his field and is widely recognised as one of the top private equity partners in London. 

  • Sava Savov is a dynamic lawyer who has previously been a principal at Oaktree Capital Management and is fast becoming one of the leading private equity lawyers in the London market. He brings to his clients a particular focus on the life sciences, technology, real estate, financial services, and energy industries as well as a strong track record in complex restructurings. Savov is named as a “Notable Practitioner” for Private Equity, M&A, and Restructuring & Insolvency in the current edition of IFLR1000.

  • Michelle Tong is one of the brightest rising stars in the private equity market in London. She advises sponsors and portfolio companies and leads cross-border transactions, including in regulated industries such as healthcare and life sciences. Tong’s recent industry recognitions include being named as a “Private Equity Rising Star” by Financial News and her inclusion in the annual Private Equity International “Future 40” list. She has also taken lead roles in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at previous firms and at an industry level. 
     
  • John Van De North brings more than 20 years of experience in advising private equity sponsors and other fund managers in London. His particular focus is identifying new managers and providing support as they establish new pools of capital and business lines. He led the emerging managers initiative at his prior firm. Van De North is named in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom for his private equity work.  

“Goodwin’s global reputation as the go-to legal adviser for the private equity industry coupled with the firm’s focus on some of the most innovative and dynamic sectors of the economy made the decision to join an easy one,” commented Dahl. “The momentum created by the firm’s growth and success across Europe and in the private equity sector makes this an extremely exciting proposition for us.”

“We are thrilled to join a firm with such a strong team culture, a dynamic and ambitious management team, and a focused strategic vision built around private equity and other core practice areas,” added Iwasko.  

This highly regarded partner team is the latest addition to Goodwin’s growing London private equity group, following the recent hires of partners Carl Bradshaw and James Grimwood. The firm now has more than 120 private equity lawyers across its London, Frankfurt, and Paris offices and opened a private investment funds-focused office in Luxembourg in 2019.

Last month, Reuters reported that Goodwin “has advised on deal after deal in 2020, blowing past perennial top leaders for M&A volume.” Pitchbook named Goodwin the only law firm in second quarter 2020 to finish in the top five (by deal count) for global Venture Capital, M&A, and Private Equity (Healthcare) transactions. Indeed, Goodwin’s Private Equity practice consistently ranks at the very top of the global league tables.