King & Spalding M&A head Woolery departs: sources

(Reuters) - Jim Woolery, the head of M&A and corporate governance at King & Spalding LLP, has left the law firm and is exploring launching his own advisory practice, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Woolery, a former co-head of North American mergers and acquisitions (M&A) at JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N and a former partner at law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, is considering launching a "boutique" firm with a focus on advising major sources of capital, such as billionaires, sovereign wealth funds and special-purpose acquisition vehicles, the sources said.

King & Spalding did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While boutique firms are common in investment banking, few corporate lawyers have branched out on their own. Were Woolery to launch his own firm, he would no longer be restricted in his ability to work on clients by other assignments that King & Spalding has in its big practice, which ranges from litigation and regulation to M&A and shareholder activism.

Woolery's advisory work includes Clorox Co's CLX.N successful defense against Carl Icahn in 2011, the acquisition of Dell Technologies Inc DELL.N by Michael Dell and buyout firm Silver Lake in 2013, the $21.5 billion sale of payments company Total System Services to Global Payments Inc GPN.N in 2019, and a range of transactions for printer maker Xerox Holdings Corp XRX.N, including the resolution of a dispute with Japan's Fujifilm over their joint venture and aborted merger.

Reporting by Svea Herbst in Boston and Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis