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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Investment fund formation and management > Private funds > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Private funds
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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'Second to none in this practice area',¬†Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP¬†'has profound knowledge in this space, is responsive, hardworking and easy to work with'. The firm is primarily known for acting for leading private equity houses, handling top-of-market buyout fundraises.¬†Gareth Earl¬†advised CVC Capital Partners on forming CVC Capital Partners VII, a ‚ā¨15.5bn buyout fund that held its final close within six months of its formal launch. Also in the buyout space, Jason Glover¬†and Seema Shah¬†advised BC Partners on forming BC European Capital X, which ran in tandem with a stapled secondary transaction bringing over commitments from the fund's predecessor. 'A true star performer',¬†Robert Lee¬† was promoted to the partnership at the start of 2018 and has 'a great understanding of where his advice fits into the larger picture of what clients need'. Other clients include Affinity Equity Partners, which the team advised on forming a $6bn fund (the largest Asia-focused buyout fund raised by an Asian manager), Apax Partners (for which Shah spearheaded the $1bn fundraising of Apax Digital), and EQT Partners.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP's¬†'prompt, knowledgeable¬†and solution-driven' team handles a range of work, including heavyweight buyout, debt and infrastructure funds. Practice head Richard Watkins¬†and newly promoted partner Aranpreet Randhawa¬† advised AMP Capital on forming AMP Capital Infrastructure Debt III, which raised a total of $2.5bn. The team was strengthened by the recruitment of credit fund specialist¬†Anand Damodaran¬†(who has 'an excellent understanding of the subject matter and ability to crystallise lawyer language into simpler terms') and James Board; they advised CVC Credit Partners, a new client win for the firm, on numerous projects. Jonathan Tadd, who returned to the firm's London office from Hong Kong, advised BGH Capital, a new Australian manager founded by former leading lights at TPG and Macquarie, on forming its $2bn debut fund. Christopher Braunack¬†advised Resolution Capital on forming Resolution Re Investors, which raised $3bn to invest in insurance assets; he and Jeremy Leggate¬†(another new partner) advised IK Investment Partners on forming IK Small Cap II, a ‚ā¨550m fund.¬† In 2017 Theodore Cardos¬†deployed his secondaries expertise for Landmark Partners, and continues to advise Nordic Capital on a restructuring of its Nordic Capital Fund VII. Other clients include Vitruvian Partners, which Watkins and Amala Ejikeme¬†advised on forming Vitruvian Investment Partnership III, and Ares Management.

Proskauer Rose LLP¬†is 'a pleasure to work with - the team¬†is very thoughtful and inspires confidence that it knows what it is doing and will draw in additional technical expertise when it needs to'. Nigel Van Zyl¬†is 'willing to take a view and provide advice rather than just options' - he¬†and¬†special regulatory counsel John Verwey¬†advised HgCapital on forming two funds simultaneously: its eighth buyout fund, which raised ¬£2.5bn, and Hg Mercury 2, which raised ¬£575m to make technology-focused buyouts. Bruno Bertrand-Delfau¬†advised Ardian, a cornerstone client, on a strategic partnership with Mubadala Capital, which involved Ardian becoming the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund's first outside investor. Edward Lee¬†('a consummate¬†professional - a friendly and talented lawyer who is there for his clients and conveys matters concisely and reliably')¬†and¬†Kate Simpson¬†advised DN Capital on raising a ‚ā¨200m venture capital fund. In funds-of-funds highlights, Andrew Shore¬†advised Schroder Adveq on numerous investments, co-investments and secondary market transactions. Other clients include British, North American and Asian institutional investors, as well as EMK Capital (a new spinout from Bregal Capital), M&G Private Investments and Tenzing Private Equity.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP¬†handles a range of work, including heavyweight infrastructure funds and work for leading institutional investors and emerging markets managers. In the infrastructure space, Ed Gander¬†advised Actis - a new client win - on its launch of a long-dated $2bn fund, and handled buyout work such as PAI Partners Fund VII; James Sargent, who also was involved in the Actis fund, advised Argos Soditic on forming its Euroknights Fund VII, which closed at ‚ā¨500m. Nigel Clark¬†advises well-known clients in emerging markets private equity as well as major institutional investors. Alongside work for heavyweight institutional investors, Stephen Fox¬†advises Disruptive Capital, which has a target of ¬£500m for its first fund. Peter Olds¬†was promoted to counsel at the start of 2018. Other clients include KKR, EISER Infrastructure Partners, Brookfield and CapMan.

Clifford Chance LLP¬† is 'very efficient - it is well-attuned to the way clients operate and the issues that concern them'. The firm handles a mix of funds matters, with a notable emphasis on emerging markets and infrastructure. Gerard Saviola¬†advised Stirling Square Capital on forming its fourth fund, which held its first close at ‚ā¨600m,¬† and also assisted Apis Partners with forming Apis Growth Fund II, which raised $400m to make financial services investments in Asia and Africa.¬† In infrastructure, Nigel Hatfield¬†advised Deutsche Alternative Asset Management on forming a ‚ā¨2.5bn pan-European infrastructure fund and assisted Infracapital with forming a ¬£1.25bn greenfield fund. Alexandra Davidson¬†'provides hands-on, no-nonsense service - she is also experienced, knowledgeable¬†and commercially astute'; she¬†advised Epiris on forming its second fund, which has a target of ¬£1bn. In secondaries, Hatfield advised HSBC on the sale of a range of LP stakes to Coller Capital for $230m.¬†Other clients include Octopus Investments, which Hatfield advised on a ¬£300m fund-of-one for a British pension investor investing in renewables assets.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP¬†has 'outstanding industry knowledge and deep expertise'. Mark Mifsud¬†advises Bain Capital on various fund formation projects, including Bain Capital Europe Fund V and the European elements of forming Bain Capital Fund XII, which closed with $9.4bn of commitments. Mifsud and Kate Downey, who now heads the practice following Mifsud's assumption of the London managing partner role, advised BlueBay Asset Management on forming a senior loan fund with a total of ‚ā¨3bn - also on the debt theme, Mifsud and David Christmas, who was elected to the partnership in February 2018, advised cornerstone client Permira on forming Permira Credit Solutions III, which raised ‚ā¨1.7bn at its final closing. In infrastructure, Downey advised iCON Infrastructure on forming its fifth fund, which hit its hard cap of ‚ā¨1.2bn at its first and final close. Venture capital highlights include Mifsud advising Balderton Capital on raising a target-beating $375m fund investing in European companies at early stages. As far as secondaries transactions are concerned, the firm also advised 3i Infrastructure on its purchase of a portfolio of assets from EISER Global Infrastructure Fund, which required the creation of a new ¬£700m vehicle. Gregg Beechey¬† is a key regulatory contact. Other clients include Palatine Private Equity, Cairngorm Capital Partners, and well-known European institutional investors. Alexandra Conroy has left private practice, while¬†Sam Wilson¬†is a new partner hire from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where he was a counsel.

Goodwin's¬†'responsive and incredibly¬†knowledgeable' team is praised for its 'pragmatism and ability to generate a number of options for a problem that initially appears to not have an easy answer'. Michael Halford¬†advised new manager Core Equity Holdings, which was established by several former alumni of Bain Capital's Asia offices, on raising its debut, ‚ā¨1bn fund. Halford also advised Capital Dynamics on forming a $383m mid-market fund comprising parallel dollar and Euro-denominated vehicles. Ed Hall¬†'has multiple solutions to every problem that is posed to him';¬†working with the firm's Paris office, he advised Chequers Capital on its seventeenth private equity fund, which raised ‚ā¨1.1bn in one closing. Hall also advised Duke Street on a fund restructuring a fund. Other fund formation clients include Bregal Investments, which¬† Hall assisted with the $960m formation of Bregal Sagemount II. The team also has expertise in infrastructure funds and work with Scandinavian managers. Other key contacts include¬†Shawn D‚ÄôAguiar¬†and Patrick Deasy, who is 'highly effective at negotiation and knowing the ins and outs of specific points'.

At Linklaters LLP, Jonathan de Lance-Holmes continues to advise SoftBank on the Softbank Vision Fund; he and counsel Rahul Manvatkar advised on the creation of a sidecar running alongside it entitled the SoftBank Delta Fund to invest in DiDi, which was constrained due to the terms of the Vision Fund. Matthew Keogh advised cornerstone client Macquarie on creating an infrastructure debt fund. Tom Alabaster is a new hire from Latham & Watkins - his work includes Asia-related fund formation work. The firm also acts for Middle Eastern, Asian and North American institutional investors. Edward Smith has left the firm.

Macfarlanes LLP¬†provides 'commercial, practical and relevant advice based on evolving market practice'. Christopher Good¬†is 'hardworking, knowledgeable, commercial and easy to work with'¬†- he advised Hollyport Capital on raising Hollyport Secondary Opportunities VI. Stephen Robinson's practice includes heavyweight new manager spin-outs and the formation of credit funds - also, in the venture space, he advised new client win Felix Capital Partners on forming its second, $150m, fund. Alex Amos¬†advised Hayfin Capital Management on forming a ‚ā¨2.2bn special opportunities fund.

Travers Smith LLP¬†'clearly takes the time to understand clients' strategy and needs, which is reflected¬†in the highly commercial advice they¬†receive'. Clients single out Sam Kay¬†¬†as¬†'highly commercial with an astonishing breadth and depth of knowledge - when clients call him, they know he will have a solution to their problem and if he does not, he will find one'.¬†Senior associate Edward Ford¬†'epitomizes¬†everything clients like about the firm - he takes the time to understand clients' business needs, and uses it to exercise strong commercial judgement'. Ford and Kay advised Abris Capital Parnters on forming Abris CEE Mid-Market Fund III, which raised ‚ā¨500m to invest in Central and Eastern European buyouts. In infrastructure, Kay and¬† Ford advised the Pensions Infrastructure Platform on creating a multi-portfolio infrastructure fund allowing investors to choose their preferred target rate of return. Jeremy Elmore¬†is 'an excellent fund structuring lawyer, who is very client-oriented, commercial and solution-focused' - his¬†work includes various mandates for fund managers, covering special stituations and infrastructure. As far as funds in life sciences are concerned, Kay advised SV Health Managers on raising Dementia Discovery LP, which in 2017 secured a ¬£20m investment from Woodford Patient Capital Trust and $50m from Bill Gates, and Medicxi Ventures Management on forming Medicxi Growth I, which raised $300m to invest in European life sciences investments in Europe including the UK from a Jersey vehicle, despite commitments from the European Investment Fund against the backdrop of Brexit. Other clients include Aberdeen Asset Management, Local Pension Partnership Investments and Hermes GPE.

Ashurst¬†advises fund sponsors on various fund formation matters in buyout, debt and infrastructure funds. Nick Goddard¬†advised Equitix on forming a ¬£750m infrastructure fund, and in real estate advised CapMan on forming CapMan Nordic Real Estate II, which raised ‚ā¨425m. Piers Warburton¬†advised Pearl Diver Capital on creating three funds, targeting a total of $500m, to invest in collateralised loan obligations. In the debt fund space, Goddard advised Shard Credit Partners on forming its debut, ‚ā¨250m, debt fund.¬†Other clients include Rothschild Merchant Bank, which Goddard advised on forming a ‚ā¨625m direct lending fund, and Intermediate Capital Group.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP¬†'s 'excellent' team works on forming a range of funds across asset classes, including debt, credit and funds of funds. Geoffrey Kittredge¬†advised Metric Capital on forming its first fund, which hit its ‚ā¨850m cap at first closing, and also advises- he also acts for Exponent, Park Square Capital and Temporis Capital, as well as some venture capital fund sponsors. Regulatory specialist Patricia Volhard¬†divides her time between London and Frankfurt. John Rife, who made partner in July 2018,¬† is 'smart, responsive, proactive and practical, and doesn't introduce unnecessary conflict into the negotiation process'. Sally Gibson¬†is now an of counsel at the firm, based in Australia.

Dechert LLP 'has a solid practice with capabilities across many areas of private funds'. Debt funds are a particular area of strength; the practice is often called on to handles complex European regulatory issues and matters at the crossover of hedge and private funds. The 'brilliantly commercial' Gus Black  is 'a total star of the credit fund formation space'. Other key figures include Christopher Gardner, who is 'an established and high-performing private equity and private credit partner'; Stuart Martin, who is 'a key name in the funds community, with a growing credit funds practice'; and Abigail Bell. Thiha Tun, who advises alternative asset fund sponsors, institutional investors and financial advisors on a broad range of issues, joined from Akin Gump LLP in March 2019. Clients include Cheyne Capital, Columna Capital and Gemcorp Capital.

At¬†O'Melveny, John Daghlian¬†advised Adelis Equity Partners on forming its second private equity fund, which was structured as a Swedish company, and also assisted Egeria Capital with forming its fifth fund, which raised ‚ā¨800m after one month of document negotiation. Daniel Quinn¬†advised Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, a new manager, on the formation of its first fund, which seeks to invest in green energy infrastructure projects. Daghlian and¬†Aleksander Bakic, who was promoted to the partnership at the start of 2017, also advise Livingbridge. Turning to the investor side, the firm regularly handles work for GIC. Other clients include Harbour Litigation Funding, which Quinn advised on forming a ¬£350m litigation fund, and CDC Group.

Simmons & Simmons has 'excellent depth of knowledge across all areas of the discipline, and always presents its advice in a realistic commercial context'. David Williams  is 'a credit to the profession - responsive, accurate and with a breadth of experience and commercial acumen', with  Matthew Pitman and Dale Gabbert also key contacts. In Africa, the team advised Investec on forming Investec Africa Private Equity Fund 3; Cindy Valentine  is a key contact for emerging markets work. Other asset classes include shipping funds. Institutional investor clients include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as the British Business Bank and the BT pension scheme.

Akin Gump LLP 's practice handles a range of matters, with a particular strength in India-related funds. John Holton, who is qualified in Massachusetts, is a key partner, while senior counsel Divya Thakur, who divides her time between London and Singapore, is also a noted practitioner. Other mandates concern insurance linked securities funds and technology funds.

Key figures at¬†Hogan Lovells International LLP¬†include¬†Nicholas Holman, whose¬†expertise covers infrastructure fund work, among other matters; newly promoted partner¬†Jeremy Pickles,¬†who handles investor-side work for development finance institutions; and¬†Erik Jamieson, who¬†advised Amber Infrastructure on forming a fund, structured as a private fund limited partnership, investing in both debt and equity in digital infrastructure. Other clients include Ventiga Capital Partners, which Holman advised on creating a new private equity fund. On the investor side, the team advised the Irish Strategic Investment Fund on a ‚ā¨105m investment into a fund investing into Irish SMEs, and continues to advise the Kodak UK Pension Plan.

Latham & Watkins'¬†Nick Benson¬†handles sponsor-side work such as fund formations, co-investment schemes and restructuring, as well as some work for investors. Highlights on the fund formation front included advising Capvis on its fifth buyout fund, which raised ‚ā¨1.25bn and Tata Capital with forming its second, $400m, India-focused capital growth fund. Restructuring work included advising Quadriga on the auction of the contents of its third fund to a new investor, but with the assets continuing to be managed by Quadriga. Assicurazioni Generali is a key client for LP work, as is Novo Holdings. The firm also acts for Citic Capital and AlbaCore Capital as well as a number of sovereign wealth funds.¬†Tom Alabaster¬†joined¬†Linklaters LLP.

Investment funds boutique¬†MJ Hudson¬† 'has the client's best interest at the centre of its advice and actions'. The firm is particularly active in work for smaller and start-up managers of private equity and venture capital funds. Shervin Shameli¬†¬†and Eamon Devlin¬†continue to advise Maven Capital Partners on forming a UK-focused buyout fund, which has a target of ¬£125m; the pair also advised Volpi Capital Investments on forming a fund with a ‚ā¨185m target. Karma Samdup¬†is 'great to work with, understanding of clients' needs and extremely effective for their businesses'; he¬†advised Kindred Capital on forming two technology-focused funds. Ted Craig¬†contributes secondaries expertise and advised Multiplicity Partners on forming a secondaries fund. Name partner Matthew Hudson¬†is also active in fund formation work. The firm also acts for NextEnergy Capital.

Much of Paul Hastings LLP¬†'s work¬†concerns debt funds and risk retention; Christian Parker¬†advised CVC Credit Partners on structuring a risk-retention entity that allows third parties to provide regulatory capital for its CLO business; Parker also advised CVC Credit Partners on creating a Luxembourg-based RAIF.¬† In more traditional debt funds, Diala Minott¬†is 'very good and gives very sound advice' - she advised Intermediate Capital Group on creating its third direct lending fund, which raised a total of ‚ā¨5.2bn. Other clients include Pemberton Capital Advisors, which Minott advised on forming two new funds.

Ropes & Gray LLP¬†is 'highly expert, and can offer rapid and personalised responses when needed - the team is cohesive and this brings out the best advice possible from its range of experts'. Matthew Judd¬†is 'consistently excellent, responsive and thoughtful' - he handles complex secondaries transactions and fund formation mandates concerning buyout funds. Judd's highlights included advising CVC Credit Partners on forming CVC Credit Partners Mid-Market Solutions Fund, which raised ‚ā¨500m. Associate Joshua Cronin¬†is 'intelligent and a pleasure to work with'. Other clients include Chorus Capital Management. Credit fund specialist¬†Anand Damodaran¬†left the firm to join¬†Kirkland & Ellis International LLP.

'Excellent across the board', Schulte Roth & Zabel International LLP handles a range of work, often involving fund structures at the intersection of hedge and private equity. Jim McNally advised LCN Capital Partners on forming LCN North America Fund II and LCN European Fund II, which both closed in March 2017 with commitments totaling $500m. Josh Dambacher  also handles complex mandates. Other clients include Sprints Capital Management, which McNally advised on subsequent closings of Sprints Capital International II, and TriSpan.

Allen & Overy LLP 's  Matt Huggett  is noted for his expertise in infrastructure and shipping fund mandates, while John Goodhall and Pavel Shevtsov  handle work for significant institutional investors from the Middle East and CIS regions.

Baker McKenzie, which is noted for his infrastructure fund expertise,¬† 'consistently delivers what is requested, with a team that demonstrates a high level of technical knowledge and offers suitable advice when required'. James Burdett¬†plays¬†'a pivotal role during negotiations on fund terms and side letter clauses, ensuring clients are successful in achieving favourable¬†terms'; his clients include fund sponsors and institutional investors. Restructuring mandates included advising the investor advisory board of Arcus European Infrastructure Fund on extending the fund's term by a decade. Investor clients include Allianz Capital Partners, which the team advised on deploying ‚ā¨60m into Chequers Capital XVII, and GIC, which it advised on a commitment to Blue Water Energy Fund II.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has particular strength in emerging markets work; Stephen Newby  ('always willing to assist with any problem, whether big or small') advised Solon Capital Partners on forming a sub-Saharan Africa investment platform, Solon Capital Holdings, which secured investments from CDC Group. Nigel Farr is also a name of note. Other work includes advice to sovereign wealth funds.

Jones Day is 'successfully developing a private funds practice, focusing on the lower mid-market'. John MacGarty is 'well-respected by his clients who appreciate his hands-on, confident style' - he advised True Capital on raising £120m for True Capital II and its co-investment vehicle. The firm also handles issues concerning the management of private equity houses, fund restructurings and secondaries transactions. Other clients include mainland European managers, among others.

Mayer Brown International LLP's Tim Nosworthy  handles fund formation work, including matters with significant mainland European elements and debt funds. He also advises British pension investors. Clients include L Catterton.

Mishcon de Reya LLP has 'brilliant knowledge - it responds quickly and gets the job done well'. Daniel Greenaway is 'honest, reliable and knowledgable' - he advised NCL Technology Ventures on forming an onshore life sciences fund with a novel carried interest structure. In a separate deal, he also advised Crest Partners on its spin-out from another manager, which necessitated the creation of Portuguese law-compatible fund documents. In addition to further work concerning venture funds, investor-side mandates in 2017 include advice to Woodford Investment Management on a £150m investment into the Accelerated Digital Ventures Fund and a £15m investment in the Dementia Discovery Fund.

Morrison & Foerster LLP¬†'s fund formation practice handles a range of venture capital fund formation work as well as work concerning buyout funds. Rob Mailer¬†advised Seedcamp Investment Management on raising its fourth fund, and selling the remaining investment portfolios of its first two funds to Draper Esprit. Work for new managers include advising Oxx on its spin-out from venture capital house Amadeus Capital and the formation of its first fund, which is targeting $100m to make growth capital investments in software companies. Mailer also advised STAR Capital Partnership on forming Star Strategic Assets III, which met its hard cap of ‚ā¨800m.¬† Oliver Rochman¬†is also a key contact. Other work concerns LP commitments and secondary transactions.

At Norton Rose Fulbright Michael Newell acts for investors on a range of matters, including emerging market funds and venture capital matters. LP clients include ARM, Triple Jump, Proparco and  the African Development Bank.

Osborne Clarke, which handles work for institutional investors and smaller fund sponsors from offices in London and Bristol, provides 'good and thorough advice and reliable service'. Helen Parsonage in Bristol advised Notion Capital Managers on forming its third venture fund, which raised £107m, and advised start-up manager Brent Capital (created by founder Brent Hoberman) on forming its first fund, Firstminute Capital, which secured commitments of £64m.  The 'very commercial and practical' Tim Simmonds in London advises Hollyport Capital on various secondaries transactions, and advised Deutsche Alternative Asset Management on creating a African energy infrastructure debt fund. Investor clients include the Brunel Pension Partnership, which Parsonage advised on forming an investment manager of a "virtual pool" of ten local authority pension schemes, and BAE Systems' pension plans.

At Reed Smith LLP, Panos Katsambas¬†and Winston Penhall¬†advised a sponsor client on the formation of a credit opportunities fund, which raised ‚ā¨275m of commitments. Katsambas also handles shipping-related fund work. Leith Moghli, who joined in 2017 from Kirkland & Ellis International LLP, handles private equity fund formation. Other asset classes handled in 2017 include litigation finance and collateralised loan obligations.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP has a track record of advising various fund sponsors, both new and established. Stephen Sims heads the team.

At¬†Willkie Farr & Gallagher (UK) LLP¬†, Solomon Wifa¬†advises Blue Water Energy, including advising it on the formation of Blue Water Energy Fund II, which raised $1.1bn, and also in infrastructure advised Impax Asset Management on forming a renewable energy fund with a ‚ā¨600m target. Wifa's workload also includes a significant number of market-leading Africa-related funds; he advised Adenia Partners, which raised a target-beating ‚ā¨230m for investments in sectors including fintech, telecoms and healthcare, CardinalStone, which set a target of $100m for its debut fund, which will target investments in Nigeria.¬†Henrietta De Salis¬†is a key contact for regulatory issues. ACG Capital and BNP Paribas are clients for secondaries work.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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