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Veteran Morgan Stanley dealmaker Rob Kindler to join law firm


(Reuters) -Rob Kindler, a top executive at Morgan Stanley, is leaving the investment bank after a 17-year stint to join a major law firm.

The veteran dealmaker will join Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison as the global chair of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), the law firm said on Tuesday.

Based in New York, Kindler will advise clients on M&A, activist defense and other matters of corporate governance.

A New Yorker, Kindler began his legal practice at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, another major law firm where he spent nearly two decades.

He then moved on to leading M&A at JPMorgan before joining Morgan Stanley in 2006, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Kindler’s return to his legal roots will also see him reunited with his former colleague Scott Barshay, another M&A lawyer who worked with Kindler at Cravath.

“I am delighted to once again have him as my partner,” said Barshay, who is the chair of the Paul, Weiss’ corporate department.

The corporate department advises corporations on their business and legal strategies.

Kindler has been involved in some major M&A deals throughout his career, like Comcast Corp’s $72 billion acquisition of AT&T Broadband, Dow-DuPont’s $130 billion merger in 2017 and S&P Global’s $44 billion buyout of IHS Markit last year.

His departure was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

While a banking job at Wall Street is an oft-taken path for lawyers, an established banker leaving a lucrative banking role to rejoin legal practice is less common.

Kindler’s return to legal practice coincides with a challenging period for the industry, which like investment banks, has been navigating a dreary environment for dealmaking.

The slowdown has taken a toll on industry names like Cooley, Goodwin Procter and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, which were forced to trim their ranks.

Paul, Weiss has advised companies on some high-profile acquisitions in recent months, including Apollo Global Management’s $5.2 billion deal for aerospace supplier Arconic and the $21 billion merger between WWE and Endeavor Group-owned UFC.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Chris Reese)

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