O’Melveny Worldwide

O’Melveny to Add Prominent M&A and Private Equity Team

February 1, 2018


Century City—February 1, 2018—Three top M&A and private equity lawyers—David M. Smith, Robert T. Graffum, and Nicolai M. Schwarz-Gondek—will be joining O’Melveny’s Century City office as partners in the firm’s M&A Practice.

Smith, Graffum, and Schwarz-Gondek are highly regarded in Southern California’s dynamic private equity community as corporate transactional partners, advising institutional and strategic participants on buy- and sell-side M&A. Their clients include some of Southern California’s most prominent private equity funds, family offices, and independent sponsors, as well as premier public and private companies, foreign pensions, and sovereign wealth funds.

“David, Rob, and Nicolai have earned their reputations as some of the top private equity lawyers in the market,” said Bradley J. Butwin, Chair of O’Melveny. “Their arrival at O’Melveny represents a natural union, given our shared values and approach to client service and, most notably, our commitment to supporting the investors and companies driving growth in the evolving Southern California region.”

The group will be joining O’Melveny from a well-known West Coast law firm, where Smith served as Managing Shareholder of its Santa Monica office and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Leaders of the private equity bar in Los Angeles, the three count among their regular clients half of Preqin’s top 10 private equity firms in the area.

“We are delighted to be joining O’Melveny,” said Smith on behalf of the group. “The firm’s full-service platform and collaborative culture are an ideal fit for our practice and clients, and we are eager to begin working with our new colleagues to build on O’Melveny’s legacy in Southern California.”

Smith earned a B.S. from Saint Joseph’s University in 1992 and a J.D. from Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law in 1999, where he graduated magna cum laude and salutatorian. He is a former board member of the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Graffum earned his B.A. from the United States Naval Academy in 1994 and served as an officer in the Navy for five years before earning his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2002. Schwarz-Gondek passed his First State Examination (J.D. equivalent) at the University of Munich in 2002 and earned a Doctor Iuris degree (Ph.D. equivalent), summa cum laude, from the University of Augsburg in 2005 and an LL.M. from the University of Southern California, also in 2005.

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Christine M. Till
O’Melveny & Myers LLP