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  1. Private equity: transactions ‚Äď high-value deals
  2. Private equity: transactions ‚Äď mid-market deals
  3. Leading individuals
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In 2017, Addleshaw Goddard underscored its market-leading reputation for mid-cap private equity transactions by handling a significant number of high-end mandates for some of the most active midmarket private equity houses. A three-partner team including Mike Hinchliffe, Marc Field and William James acted for ECI in its investment in a minority stake in analytics and technology company Media iQ. The firm also undertook a significant amount of work for LDC, such as its buyouts of Chargepoint and Fishawack; the key advisers on these deals were Paul Medlicott, and managing associates George Danczak, Katie Parker and Rabia Burton. The firm also excels in larger transactions (above £500m); Andrew Green and associate Ben Heywood advised Inflexion on its £800m investment in Radius Payments Solutions. It also has a strong profile acting for management teams in similar large deals. Following its merger with Scottish firm HBJ Gateley in 2017, the firm now counts on the experience of David Kirchin Murray Jack, Andrew Ley and Andrew Walker. Yunus Seedat heads up the national team, which was strengthened by the arrival of Peter Wood from Pinsent Masons LLP, and also includes Nathan Pearce and Graham Cross. Andrew Carpenter joined DWF.

Arnold & Porter's 'savvy' team has a first-class reputation, owing to its experience across a wide range of domestic and cross-border transactions. Led by Andrew Harris, the team advises on MBOs, MBIs, buy and builds, and disposals/exits, among various other matters. Harris and associate Andrew Ross acted for EMK Capital in its MBO of Israel-based Luminati in 2017. They were also part of a team (which included David Gerber), which advised the same client and Bregal Capital LLP on their sale of the IT training company QA Group to CVC Capital Partners.  Another key figure is Sean Scanlon, who was the lead adviser to Bluebird Partners on the sale of its Island View Holidays Group portfolio company (a holiday and caravan park owner-operator based in the Isle of Wight) to AG Holiday Parks UK Limited. Jeremy Willcocks is also recommended. Complementing the team's core transactional expertise is the firm's strengths in ancillary areas, such as intellectual property, restructuring and employment. Syndicated and leveraged finance expert Colin Tan recently made partner.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is praised by clients for its 'high level of partner engagement, strong commercial focus and solution-driven attitude, which is married with a strong technical base'. Practice head Malcolm MacDougall is 'focused on getting the deal done'. 2017 was a strong year for the team, with it winning work from new clients such as Rockpool Investments and Apposite Capital. In addition to acting for private equity houses, the group also undertakes transactional work for management teams and investee companies. MacDougall, Richard Coleman and others acted for the shareholders and management team of Black Rock Programme Management in the £161.5m investment by Intermediate Capital Group. Another matter involved Keir Gordon, legal director Deborah Robson and associate Darren Marley advising Zenium Group (which was backed by Soros Private Equity Partners) on selling its Turkish data centres to Equinix for $97m, and then advising the client's shareholders on the sale of Zenium Group to CyrusOne Dutch Holdings. Andrew Clarke and Adam Crossley are the other key partners in MacDougall's team, which also includes senior associates Lucy Thorpe and Chris Manning.

CMS' merger with Nabarro and Olswang in May 2017 brought in additional resources to its private equity team, and the combined group was further strengthened by the arrival of¬†Peter Lewis¬†from¬†White & Case LLP. Although the firm's sweet spot is upper mid-market UK deals, it is also highly active in the wider European private equity market, and is also sought-after for transactions further afield globally. Led by global private equity head¬†James Grimwood, the group focuses on deals in the financial services, technology, media and communications (TMC), healthcare, leisure and energy sectors.¬†Louise Wallace¬†led a cross-office team which acted for Patron Capital in the ‚ā¨450m sale of hostel owner and operator Generator Hostels to Queensgate Investments in 2017;¬†Narinder Jugpal, who recently made partner,was among the advisers on this transaction. In another deal, Grimwood and associate¬†Stephen Kilshaw¬†advised the management team of Travelopia on the circa ¬£325m KKR-backed MBO of the business from TUI.¬†Martin Treagus¬†was the lead partner who assisted Oakley Capital with acquiring Plesk for $105m. Inflexion, Turn/River Management and Epiris are recent client wins for Grimwood's team, which also includes noted practitioners such as¬†Dipesh Santilale,¬†Simon Morgan¬†and¬†Anela Musat.

Dentons¬†merged with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens LLP in October 2017, which resulted in the firm expanding its reach across the UK. The¬†combined team handles transactions involving various industries, including (but not limited to) energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, financial services, retail, technology and hotels. The firm's prominence in midmarket transactions enables it to generate work from clients such as HIG Capital and Waterland Private Equity. It also recently secured Rutland Partners as a new client.¬†In 2017,¬†Nicholas Plant¬†acted for Graphite Capital in the circa ¬£50m auction sale of SK:N.¬†The firm is also highly active in cross-border, large-cap transactions; Plant¬†and¬†Tatiana Kruse¬†were part of a cross-office team, which acted for Blackstone in its $1bn acquisition of the Acetow business from Solvay. Plant was also the lead partner assisting Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners with acquiring euNetworks for ‚ā¨1.1bn. In another matter,¬†Stephen Levy,¬†Joseph Altendorff¬†and others are advising KKR on its proposed circa ‚ā¨6.8bn acquisition of Unilever's spreads business. Another dimension of the private equity practice is its involvement in Africa-related deals, with the London office working closely with the firm's Africa-based offices, and elsewhere in the global network, on a wide range of transactions.¬†David Collins¬†heads up the team.¬†Jonathan Polin¬†moved to¬†Howard Kennedy LLP.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's reputation as a market-leader for midmarket transactions is reflected in its (frequently repeat) work for more than 20 private equity houses, as well as its advice to management teams, shareholders and corporates. It is one of the most active firms in the market for UK mid-cap transactions. In addition, the firm’s far-reaching presence outside of the UK - in the US and further afield internationally - adds another dimension to the practice in cross-border matters. Led by Richard Moulton, the UK team offers extensive coverage of all deal types across 11 sector groups. In a key deal in the aviation and aerospace industry, in 2017, Robin Skelton and newly promoted partner David Milne acted for Baird Capital in the acquisition of CAV Advanced Technologies Limited and CAV Ice Protection Limited.  In another matter, Catherine Eley advised Epiris LLP and the management shareholders of Treetops Nurseries on the sale of the business to Busy Bees.  Other key figures are Louise Finnie and senior associate Alex McCarney, who both recently assisted Spanish gym company Viva with acquiring Portugese gym business Fitness Hut. Mark Beardmore, who has more than 20 years of experience of private equity transactions, acts for clients such as Livingbridge, Bridgepoint Development Capital and CBPE Capital Partners. James Trevis is also recommended.

Mayer Brown International LLP's team attracts high praise for its 'in-depth understanding of structuring private equity deals'. Since his arrival from Reed Smith LLP in 2016,  group head Perry Yam has been instrumental in the growth of the firm's practice, particularly in the midmarket space; the firm has won work from clients such as Bluegem Capital Partners, Strling Square Capital Partners and HIG, among others. In 2017, Yam and James West, who are both 'client-centric and savvy', handled the £200m sale of portfolio company JAC Travel to Australian-listed company Webjet Limited for private equity firm Vitruvian Partners. In addition, the firm has more recently advised Aurelius on the restructuring and merger of two of its portfolio companies. The incredibly engaged and proactive team also includes Tim Nosworthy, and Connor Cahalane, and was also recently strengthened by the arrival of Neil Evans from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP's work covers a broad spread of transactions, including buyouts, recapitalisations, bolt-on acquisitions and exits. It is particularly well-known for its cross-border work, which includes advice to UK-based investors on outbound transactions across Europe and further afield, as well as assisting overseas-based investors with investments into the UK. In addition to acting for private equity houses, the firm generates mandates from ultra high net-worth family offices, management teams and target companies, among other clients. The firm handles transactions across a wide range of sectors, with healthcare and life sciences being a particular area of strength. In 2017, Eleanor West led a multi-disciplinary team, which advised Connecticut-based private equity fund Great Point Partners on the acquisition by Softbox Systems (a portfolio company of Great Point Partners) of TP3 Global Holdings, as well as related finance issues. Another deal involved Piero Carbone and associate Linda Zeman working with the Milan office to assist BlueGem Capital Partners with acquiring a 70% stake in home fragrances manufacturer Dr Vranjes Firenze. Carbone and Zeman are 'particularly good at taking a commercial and pragmatic view in complex situations'. Mark Davis leads the London team and is also a co-chair of the global private equity group.

Kevin McCarthy's team at Mishcon de Reya LLP has a particularly strong reputation advising management teams on mid-cap private equity transactions, where it draws upon its expertise in areas such as M&A, employment, tax and real estate to cover a wide range of issues. In 2017, Simon Sale led a multidisciplinary team, which advised the management team of Brandon Tool Hire Group Limited on the £69m sale of the company by Rutland Partners to VP Plc. In addition, Sale and others assisted the management team of Search Consultancy with the MBO by H2 Equity Partners. Elsewhere, the firm also generates work from other clients, including family offices and private funds. McCarthy's team also includes Andrew Rimmington, Nadim Meer, Michael Nouril and tax expert John Skoulding. Another name to note is legal director Allison Keyse, whose transactional experience spans sectors such as oil and gas, retail and financial services.

At¬†Norton Rose Fulbright,¬†David Marshall¬†recently succeeded outgoing partner¬†Richard Bull¬†as practice head, with Bull moving to¬†Proskauer Rose LLP. Marshall's team handles all stages of the investment lifecycle for a wide range of clients, including private equity investors, corporates and management teams. In 2017, Marshall and senior associate¬†Sophie O‚ÄôConnor¬†acted for the management team of Esendex in its acquisition by HgCapital from Darwin Private Equity.¬†Jason Moss¬†and of counsel Sarah Tonks¬†assisted TOMS Capital and Nomad Foods Limited with acquiring Green Isle Foods Limited for ‚ā¨225m. Another key figure is¬†Bayo Odubeko, who has particular experience of acting for Africa-focused private equity and infrastructure funds in their investments into Africa. Odubeko advised Alta Semper Capital on the acquisition of a controlling interest in Egyptian consumer healthcare company Macro Holding from its founders. The firm's other clients include One Peak Partners, Scottish Equity Partners and ValueAct Capital.

Reflective of Osborne Clarke LLP's growing deal activity, and its commitment to investing in its private equity offering, Simon Jones made partner in May 2017. In addition, the firm more recently hired Tim Hewens and Alistair Francis from Squire Patton Boggs. The team, which is led by Alisdair Livingstone, acts for more than 25 private equity firms in many of their most important mandates; clients include Lloyds Development Capital (LDC), Synova, Inflexion, HIG European Capital and MML Capital. Its management advisory work is also on the increase. In 2017, Livingstone, associate director Chris Yeo and others acted for LDC and the senior management team of A-Gas in the sale of A-Gas to KKR. Hewens recently acted as the lead adviser to UK midmarket investor Tenzing Private Equity on its investment in Converge TS, as well as its acquisition of CitNOW Video Limited. In another notable deal, Greg Leyshon, associate director Caroline Drummond and others advised Vita Group's management team on the sale of the company by TPG to SVP Global. Mark Spinner, who has nearly 30 years of private equity experience, is recommended along with Russell van Praagh and Robert Wood. Associate directors Mark Saunders and Mike Freer are other notable individuals.

Pinsent Masons LLP, which operates at the top end of the private equity midmarket, is particularly active in deals with an international flavour, or are particularly complex to structure. Its institutional client base includes Lyceum Capital Partners, Phoenix Equity Partners and LDC. Other clients include large international corporates and management teams. Edward Stead leads the team, which has extensive expertise in every aspect of the investment lifecycle, with the work including buyouts, bolt-on acquisitions and exits. In 2017, Tom Leman and senior associate James Kaye acted for longstanding client Rapha in the sale of a majority stake in the business to US-based private equity house RZC Investments. The group is also increasingly sought-after to advise US-based investors on their investment activities in Europe, including the UK. Other notable individuals in the team include practice head Edward Stead, Gregg Davison and recently promoted partner Amie Norris, who acted for Livingbridge and the management team of Witherslack Group in the sale of Witherslack Group to Charme Capital. Andrew Masraf, who is the global head of the firm's transactional services group, is another experienced practitioner.Kieran Toal joined from Shoosmiths LLP, while Peter Wood departed for Addleshaw Goddard.

Reed Smith LLP handles a wide range of domestic and cross-border transactions (on the buy-side and sell-side) for a wide variety of market participants, including UK midmarket private equity houses, corporates and management teams. In 2017, as part of a highly complex restructuring of its business, Michael Young assisted a music streaming platform with negotiating a significant investment from two private equity investors. In another highlight, Martin Bowen, Laura Brunnen and others advised a UK midmarket investor and a UK-headquartered car/motorcycle tyre distributor on the acquisition of the tyre distributor's business by a Japanese tyre manufacturer. Mark Sanders' workload spans multiple industries, with a particular strength in those where intellectual property is a critical asset (such as technology and media). Philip Taylor and Mark Sanders jointly lead the team, which also includes James Cross and Leith Moghli.

Squire Patton Boggs is a well-known name for UK midmarket transactions, and its national team is often seen as a first port of call for private equity firms, investee companies, management teams and financial institutions. In 2017, Nicholas Allen, recently promoted partner Julian Ciecierski-Burns and others acted for the sellers of Bullitt Group Limited and certain members of the management team in the £120m sale of the company to Exponent Private Equity. In another highlight, Allen and Mark Yeo were part of a cross-practice team which advised the sellers of Zone Limited on the £65m sale of the company to Cognizant Worldwide Limited. Jonathan Jones acts for clients such as Endless, ECI and LDC. Also recommended are Giles Chesher, James McKay, Timothy Stead and recent hire James Fitzgibbon, who joined from PwC. Paul Mann leads the UK private equity team, following the departure of former head Tim Hewens to Osborne Clarke LLP. Alistair Francis also joined Hewens at the new firm.

At Stephenson Harwood, group head Jonathan Pittal, Warren Allan and Gabriel Boghossian have continued to act for a number of their longstanding clients in midmarket transactions; Pittal and associate Pippa Byrne advised Bowmark Capital LLP and the other shareholders of Law Business Research (LBR) on the sale of LBR to Levine Leichtman Capital Partners. Another highlight saw Pittal, Boghossian and Byrne act for Inspired Education in a strategic investment by TA Associates. The three partners also have a particularly strong track record in private equity secondary transactions, which has previously involved advising clients such as SL Capital Partners and Five Arrows on the acquisition of private equity portfolios. They also assist funds-of-funds and banks with portfolio sales. Elsewhere, the team undertakes a significant amount of transactional work in regulated sectors such as insurance and healthcare. Other key members of the group include Ben Mercer, Elizabeth Field, Tony Edwards, Andrew McLean and Sam Gray.

Taylor Wessing LLP acted for management teams and private equity midmarket investors in a number of significant UK and cross-border deals in 2017. UK private equity team head Emma Danks advised Bridgepoint on the MBO of maternity clothes brand Séraphine; this was one of the client's first investments from its newly raised growth equity fund.  James Goold and senior associate Jonny Bethell assisted Inflexion with its investment in K2 Partnering Solutions, while Edward Waldron and senior associate Suzy Penney acted for the management team of Sequel Business Solutions in the sale of the business by HG Capital to Verisk Analytics for £250m. Waldron was also the lead adviser to Caledonia Investments Plc on the £80.6m sale of The Sloane Club to a special purpose vehicle jointly owned by Queensway Group Limited and Clearbell Property Partners III LP. Clients such as Livingbridge, Bridges Fund Management and Baird Capital also instruct the firm on private equity deals. Duncan McDonald's transactional experience spans sectors such as hotels and leisure, technology and aerospace, among others.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP's team is highly experienced in both mid-cap and large-cap deals, and it is particularly active in those with a cross-border element. Its areas of focus are reflective of the wider firm's sector strengths, including energy and infrastructure, natural resources, transport, maritime and real estate. In 2017, Evan Stergoulis and tax partner Richard Stephens were the lead advisers to Velocita (which is backed by global private equity fund Riverstone) on its £191.5m sale of a portfolio of wind farm projects in eastern France to Innergex Renewable Energy and Desjardins Group Pension Plan. Outside of the firm's core areas of sector focus, Nigel Taylor led a multidisciplinary group, which advised insurance intermediary Global Risk Partners Limited (which is backed by Penta Capital) on its acquisition of a number of insurance companies as part of an ongoing investment programme. Other active clients include BP Pension Fund, PKA and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. Chris Kilburn, who relocated from Singapore in September 2017, heads up the team. Andy Savage, who undertakes domestic and cross-border transactions, is 'well-informed about the African market'. Tax partner Tom Jarvis is another name to note.

Clifford Chance's 'hugely experienced' team 'knows at a granular level what typical market practices are, and therefore which particular anomalies might be relevant'. Noted for its 'incredible depth'¬†the firm has a market-leading reputation in big-ticket deals, where it acts for many of the largest and most active global investors and sponsors, including Blackstone, Partners Group and Cinven, among others.¬†Nigel Wellings,¬†Spencer Baylin¬†and¬†Adrian Levy¬†led a team which advised acquisition vehicles established by sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation on the successful ‚ā¨12.25bn bid to acquire Logicor from funds managed by Blackstone; this matter represented the largest logistics property deal in history, and the fourth largest international Chinese takeover to date. Another standout highlight saw¬†Brendan Moylan¬†and senior associate¬†Jonathan Halliwell¬†act for a consortium led by Global Infrastructure Partners on its $5bn acquisition of renewable energy assets located in jurisdictions across the Asia Pacific from Equis Energy. other key figures include¬†Jonny Myers,¬†the global head of private equity, the 'readily accessible and approachable'¬†Simon Tinkler¬†and the 'very responsive and thorough'¬†Nicholas Hughes.¬†Amy Mahon,¬†Christopher Sullivan¬†and¬†Graham Phillips¬†are also highly recommended.¬†Former partner¬†David Pearson¬†is now a consultant.¬†David Robson¬†and¬†Owen Lysak¬†were promoted to partners in 2017.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP's longstanding track record in the private equity arena has enabled it to capture a sizeable portion of the market for strategically significant, multijursidictional large-cap transactions, where it acts for global private equity sponsors, financial institutions and corporates. The London team, which works closely with other offices across the global network, is widely acknowledged as one of the leading in this space. In 2018, Adrian Maguire and James Scott were the lead advisers to Montagu Private Equity on its acquisition of Wireless Logic from CVC. Maguire also worked with Victoria Sigeti, Christopher Davis and tax partner Helen Lethaby on Cinven's £475m sale of Northgate Public Services Limited to NEC Corporation. Tim Wilmot and Christopher Mort were part of the team advising CVC on the sale of Sky Betting & Gaming to The Stars Group Inc for $4.7bn. Charles Hayes and senior associate Rós Ní Dhubháin are also recommended. David Higgins departed for Kirkland & Ellis International LLP.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP's team has an outstanding track record of handling multi-jurisdictional big-ticket private equity transactions. Its client list includes many of the very largest US and European sponsors, including Apax Partners, Blackstone, Centerbridge, CVC, TPG and Vitruvian Partners. The group's bench strength and 'combination of practical experience and deep expertise' makes it a natural choice for complex deals involving multiple counterparties. In a high-profile move, the firm recently hired David Higgins from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Other notable partners in the team include Matthew Elliott and Celyn Evans, who acted for Wyndham Worldwide Corporation in the circa $1.3bn sale of its European vacation rental business to Platinum Equity. Also recommended are Rory Mullarkey, James Learner and Andrej Wolf, all of whom advised Apax Partners on its acquisition of luxury fashion brand Matchesfashion.com. Another highlight saw Stuart Boyd, Michael Steele, Mark Thompson and others assist Global Logistics Properties with its successful bid to acquire European logistics business Gazeley from Brookfield Asset Management for $2.8bn. The heavyweight team also includes Roger Johnson, David Arnold, Gavin Gordon, David Holdsworth and Aprajita Dhundia.

Latham & Watkins' transactional practice¬†advises a range of global private equity houses and other clients on all issues arising from¬†transformational UK and multi-jurisdictional large-cap deals, often acting in concert with¬†the firm's market-leading banking and finance, equity capital markets and high-yield debt offerings.¬†Michael Bond¬†recently acted for The Carlyle Group on its ‚ā¨10.1bn acquisition with GIC of AkzoNobel's Specialty Chemicals Business. Another notable mandate involved¬†David Walker, global co-chair¬†Kem Ihenacho,¬†Richard Butterwick¬†and¬†banking partner¬†Jayanthi Sadanandan¬†advising CVC and Blackstone (as part of a consortium) on the ¬£2.96bn acquisition of Paysafe Group; at the time of the announcement of this deal, it was the largest public-to-private transaction under the UK Takeover Code since 2010. Another key figure is¬†Farah O‚ÄôBrien, who worked alongside Ihenacho and others to assist Leonard Green & Partners with acquiring a controlling interest in Pure Gym. Other clients of the firm include Cinven, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, TA Associates and Bain Capital. Thomas Forschbach¬†has more than 25 years of experience of private equity transactions. Huw Thomas¬†made partner in January 2018.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP has 'a lot of strength in depth', enabling it to 'get deals done that others can't'. Its heavyweight team includes Marco Compagnoni, who is 'not just a very good technical lawyer and a phenomenal client lawyer, but is also able to square circles and achieve the impossible'; he is 'in a league of his own'. James Harvey is 'an excellent operator who is well plugged-in to the market'. Simon Lyell is another standout figure. In 2017, Compagnoni was the lead adviser to OMERS on the circa £1bn sale of UK software company Civica to Partners Group, and also on the £215m sale of direct lender Hayfin Capital to BCIMC. James MacArthur advised OMERS Infrastructure on increasing its investment in Thames Water. Elsewhere, the team recently handled various significant transactions for Advent International and Bain Capital, which included Compagnoni and Harvey acting for them as selling shareholders in the $5.3bn take-private of Nordic payments company Nets by a consortium led by Hellman & Friedman. Samantha McGonigle recently advised Oaktree Capital on the sale of its platform dental business, Hesira, to Nordic Capital. Jonathan Wood is another name to note in the team, which is co-led by Compagnoni and Michael Francies. Banking partner Paul Hibbert, whose wide-ranging expertise includes leveraged finance transactions, joined in 2017 from Baker McKenzie. Anthea Bamford, who moved from Berwin Leighton Paisner in February 2018, is noted for her knowledge of private equity real estate transactions.

Linklaters LLP's London-based private equity team is integrated with other offices across the network, and is also allied with the firm's other top-class practices (including finance, equity capital markets and M&A), enabling it to cover the full spread of transactions involving all major jurisdictions worldwide. Led by Alex Woodward, the group particularly comes into its own in groundbreaking deals involving novel/esoteric legal issues and matters connected with highly regulated sectors, such as healthcare, energy and financial services. In 2017, Woodward, recently promoted partner Christopher Boycott and banking partner Oliver Sceales acted for The Carlyle Group in its acquisition of Praesidiad from CVC Capital Partners. Another significant deal involved Carlton Evans acting for Baring Private Equity and Bright Food in the £1.4bn sale of the Weetabix group to Post Holdings. Ben Rodham advised The Office Group and its shareholders on the £490m sale of the business to Blackstone, which had followed a competitive auction. The firm also acts for other well-known names in the private equity sphere, such as BC Partners, Montagu, PAI and Apollo Global Management. David Martin, who relocated to the London office from Abu Dhabi, is recommended, as are Will Aitken-Davies and Vincent Ponsonnaille.

White & Case LLP¬†'consistently delivers high-quality output' in large UK and cross-border deals, and has reinforced the reputation of its London office as the hub of the global private equity practice by investing in its team. In recent developments,¬†Michael Weir¬†joined from¬†Jones Day, while¬†Emmie Jones joined from¬†Macfarlanes LLP. Peggy Wang¬†(who is the head of Asia private equity M&A) has relocated to the London office from Hong Kong. In addition,¬†Steven Worthington¬†made partner.¬†Ian Bagshaw¬†leads the group, which acts for UK and international private equity investors and corporates in their most sophisticated deals. In 2017, a team co-led by Bagshaw and Richard Jones, which included associates¬†Nicole Vella¬†and Linford Coates, acted for Harbour Energy Limited (the energy investment vehicle managed by EIG Global Energy Partners) in its agreement to lead the $3bn acquisition by Chrysaor of a diversified portfolio of North Sea oil and natural gas assets from Shell UK and its affiliates. In another deal,¬†Marcus Booth, Gavin Weir and other members of a multi-disciplinary team advised GSO Capital Partners and the other shareholders (including Coller Capital and Lloyds Bank) on the sale of UK housebuilder Miller Homes to Bridgepoint for ¬£655m. Also recommended is¬†Jarlath McGurran, who¬†was one of the lead partners advising Anchorage Capital, GIC and Davidson Kempner on the ‚ā¨3.5bn sale of Irish telecom company Eir to a subsidiary of NJJ and France-based Iliad. Kenneth Barry¬†has experience of assisting clients with investments in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia, among other regions. Other key figures are John Cunningham, Caroline Sherrell, and associates¬†Michael Mountain and¬†Lucy Bullock.

Allen & Overy LLP fields 'very agile thinkers' whose 'highly-rated technical knowledge is coupled with commercial advice'. Its international reach and strong deal execution capabilities provide a platform for the team to handle complex, big-ticket transactions for clients such as The Carlyle Group, PAI Partners and Advent International. In 2017, global private equity co-head Stephen Lloyd, Karan Dinamani and others acted for Apax Partners in its circa £700m acquisition of Safetykleen Europe from Warburg Pincus and existing management. In another matter, Gordon Milne and Dinamani are part of the team, which is advising Exponent on its proposed £400m acquisition of The CEB Talent Assessment Business from Gartner. Another highlight saw Milne and Peter Banks (who was promoted to partner in 2017) assist the same client with its acquisition of the European and Australian operations of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. Another notable individual is 'smart thinker and negotiator' George Knighton.

Ashurst's core strengths in domestic and cross-border mid-cap and large-cap transactions are complemented by its highly-rated banking and finance (particularly leveraged and acquisition finance) and investment funds practices. David Carter and senior associate Braeden Donnelly were part of a cross-office team, which acted for the management team in the £600m MBO of Old Mutual Wealth's Single Strategy asset management business. Another transaction led by Carter involved acting for Agilitas in the buyout of Danoffice IT. In the healthcare sector, Nick Rainsford led the advice to CapVest Capital Partners on the acquisition of NextPharma from an affiliate of Sun European Partners. Other clients of the firm include sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and financial institutions. Jason Radford has particular experience of infrastructure-related transactions connected with the oil and gas, built environment, healthcare and transport sectors. Bruce Hanton, London managing partner Simon Beddow and Karen Davies are other key figures.

Baker McKenzie's 'supremely knowledgeable' global practice head¬†David Allen¬†provides 'a wealth of insightful and well-balanced commercial counsel'. Also praised by clients is 'knowledgeable and responsive' associate¬†James Adams. The firm had a strong 2017 on the deals front, generating work across a wide range of industries, including life sciences, TMT, energy and natural resources, financial institutions, and consumer and retail. It was particularly active in handling deals for Bain Capital; one of the highlights involved Allen (and practitioners from other European offices) advising the client on the sale of the Polish business of one of the client's portfolio companies, Autodis group, to LKQ Corporation. In another matter,¬†Alex Lewis¬†was part of the team which advised Bain Capital on the proposed acquisition, though portfolio company Diversey, of Zenith Hygiene Group Plc. Elsewhere,¬†Tim Sheddick¬†and others assisted Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund III with the ‚ā¨1.3bn sale of its interest in Kastrup Airports Parent ApS to Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. Other active clients include CVC, Nordic Capital, Apax and Bluegem Capital.¬†Karen Guch¬†has more than 20 years of experience of private equity transactions.¬†Charles Whitefoord¬†is another seasoned practitioner.

Dickson Minto WS' credentials as a major player at the top end of the private equity market are underlined by the fact that it has advised clients on transactions ever since the firm was founded in 1985. The majority of its work has an international flavour; for context, the firm has handled deals involving more than 70 jurisdictions since 2013. The widely-respected senior partner¬†Alastair Dickson¬†works alongside¬†Jordan Simpson, with the team being particularly sought-out for advice on large-cap transactions or deals that are particularly complex/involve novel issues. In 2017, Simpson acted as the lead counsel to RL360 (a Vitruvian Partners portfolio company) in the complex carve-out acquisition of Friends Provident International from Aviva. Another significant transaction involved Simpson assisting BC Partners with acquiring Italian dental services provider Dental Pro for ‚ā¨375m from Summit Partners, VAM Investments and other private investors . The firm's other clients include Charterhouse, Compass Partners and Investindustrial.

Macfarlanes LLP's team handles the full range of issues arising from mid-cap and large-cap deals, with an extensive track record acting for clients including sponsors, management teams, lenders, limited partners and secondaries houses. In the mid-cap space, where the firm is widely acknowledged to be a market leader, practice head Stephen Drewitt recently led a multi-disciplinary team advising Epiris on the high-profile acquisition of the UK arm of Time Inc from Meredith Corporation. In addition, Ian Martin and others acted as deal counsel to Alchemy Partners in the sale of debt collection business Westcot to Cabot Credit Management. Howard Corney handles mid-cap deals for clients such as 3i, Graphite and CBPE. At the larger end of the deal spectrum, Charles Meek was the lead adviser to Lexington Partners (a New York-based manager of secondary acquisition funds) on a $1bn secondary deal involving funds managed by BC Partners. Luke Powell acted for the management team of Dublin-based aircraft lessor AWAS in the circa $2.3bn sale of the business by Terra Firma to Dubai Aerospace. Alex Edmondson, who leads the firm's technology and digital group, is experienced in technology-related private equity transactions. Simon Perry and Jessica Adam are other key figures in the team, as are Richard Burrows, Justin Hope and Alex Green.

Ropes & Gray LLP's excellence in sophisticated deals enables it to generate a significant amount of repeat mid-cap and large-cap work from UK and international private equity firms. In 2017, John Newton was part of an international cross-office team, which acted for Bain Capital in the acquisition (along with other members of a group) of Toshiba's semiconductor business for $18bn. In addition, Will Rosen and others advised Baring Private Equity Asia on the $1.8bn sale - alongside Shanghai-based Bright Food Group - of British cereal brand Weetabix to US cereal company Post Holdings. The team also handled a succession of pan-European transactions for TPG, which included Newton and others advising the client and its portfolio company Beaver-Visitec International on the acquisition of Dutch opthalmic technology company Vitreq. Another particularly standout European deal saw Helen Croke, finance partners Malcolm Hitching, Alexander Robb and others act for UK-based Intermediate Capital Group in the $5.3bn consortium buyout of Visma; this transaction represented Europe's largest-ever software sector buyout. In the mid-cap space, the team handled deals for Macquarie Capital, Silverfleet Capital Partners and Oakley Capital Investments, among others. Kiran Sharma is another experienced practitioner in the team.

Travers Smith LLP is, according to its clients, 'the best of the midmarket firms'; it has 'no weak links throughout, a good culture and it spends time understanding the client'. It is also 'very good on all aspects' of large-cap deals. The firm secured a number of high-profile and transformational mid-cap and large-cap deals in 2017, as demonstrated by Paul Dolman, Adam Orr, recently promoted senior counsel Alex Dixon and George Weavil's advice to longstanding client TA Associates on the £600m acquisition of Old Mutual Wealth's single strategy asset management business. Another highlight saw Dolman, Spencer Summerfield, Ian Shawyer and others act for Bridgepoint and its investee company Element Materials Technology Group (Element) in Element's public-to-private acquisition of Exova Group for £620m. In the mid-cap space, Shawyer led a team which advised Bridgepoint on its acquisition of the UK master franchise of Burger King. 3i, Group, Hellman & Friedman and Silverfleet Capital are also active clients. Other notable practitioners in the team include senior partner Chris Hale, whose 'wise counsel is very much appreciated', as well as Emma Havas, Will Yates, Lucie Cawood and James Renahan. Edmund Reed is a particularly prolific dealmaker in the market. Weavil, Ian Keefe and Genevieve Marten all recently made partner.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has a standout reputation in international private equity transactions, including those with a nexus to the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Its team is also particularly active in Russia-related deals; Igor Krivoshekov and David Sewell have previous experience of working in Moscow, and are the key names in this area. The team undertakes deals across a number of industries, such as oil and gas, TMT, mining, biotechnology, financial services. Sewell and Daniel Walsh led a team, which advised Bridas Corporation on the formation of an energy company through the combination of Bridas' and BP's interests in oil and gas producer PAE, and Bridas' interest in refiner and marketer Axion Energy. Vance Chapman and others assisted Oaktree Capital with selling its controlling shares in the Mars mortgage servicing business to Arrow Global Group. The firm also generates work from clients such as The Carlyle Group, UFG Private Equity and VEON Limited. Harry Keegan and John Clark are other key figures in the team, which is led by Sebastian Rice.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is a strong choice for complex multi-jurisdictional transactions. Its work covers a multitude of jurisdictions, including the US and markets across Europe. It also undertakes emerging markets transactions for its clients; particular areas of activity are India, the Middle East, South East Asia, Russia and Kazakhstan, and Africa. The scope of the team's experience spans the gamut of private equity transactions. It is particularly active in coinvestments, secondaries and special situations deals. Michael McDonald and Tihir Sarkar are acting for Qatar Investment Authority in the £3.6bn acquisition (as part of a consortium, which also includes Macquarie and China Investment Corporation) of National Grid's gas arm. In 2017, Sam Bagot was part of a cross-practice group which advised Schroders on its acquisition of Switzerland-based investment firm Adveq Management. The firm was recently appointed to TPG's inaugural panel, and now assists the client with European, US and Asia-based transactions. Other clients include Credit Suisse Asset Management, Warburg Pincus, General Atlantic and Nordic Capital. Recently promoted partner Nallini Puri, Michael Preston and Simon Jay are recommended. 

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's London office assists private equity (and other institutional) investors with many of their most significant European and North American transactions, and it also serves as a hub for deals connected with emerging markets.¬†Geoffrey Burgess¬†heads up much of the firm's work in relation to the Indian market, and is also a key adviser on Russian inbound and outbound transactions. Africa-related deals are another pillar of the firm's work; in 2017, Burgess and others assisted Helios Investment Partners with setting up a pan-African joint venture with GBfoods. Another name to note is¬†E Raman Bet-Mansour, who recently led the advice to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on the ‚ā¨3bn acquisition of a 40% interest in the Belron Group from D'Ieteren.¬†Katherine Ashton¬†and others acted for Caisse de d√©p√īt et placement du Qu√©bec in its investment in Datamars. Bregal Freshstream, Adveq and Precision Medicine Group are among other clients.¬†David Innes¬†leads the team, which also includes international counsel¬†Andrew Rearick.

Dechert LLP, whose global private equity platform expanded significantly in 2016 off the back of a number of key hires (including the arrivals of Ross Allardice and John Markland from White & Case LLP and Kirkland & Ellis International LLP respectively), has made further investments to build out its offering; corporate and debt finance expert Robert Bradshaw joined from Kirkland & Ellis International LLP in April 2017, with corporate/private equity partner Christopher Field and tax specialist Jane Scobie subsequently making the same move in September that year. The growth of the practice has also been reflected by the firm successfully winning work from a number of new clients, including Ares Capital Management, Astorg Partners and Nordic Capital. Markland, Bradshaw and finance partner Giles Belsey acted for South Korean memory chip manufacturer Sk hynix Inc as one of the members of a consortium (led by Bain Capital), which acquired Toshiba Corporation's NAND flash memory and solid state drive business for $18bn. In another matter, Field, Scobie and Markland were part of the team which advised an affiliate of Sun European Partners and other selling shareholders on the potential sale of Albéa SA to PAI Partners. Field and Allardice co-head the team with Douglas Getter and Jonathan Angell. Mark Evans and Tony Brown are notable associates.

DLA Piper 'balances the desire to negotiate hard on behalf of clients with commercial pragmatism'. Its team includes UK private equity head David Raff, who is 'a real deal do-er' and 'an excellent negotiator - a titanium fist in a velvet glove'. Tim Wright leads the firm's European private equity offering, and acts for clients such as Partners Group, Duke Street and European Capital (which is part of Ares) in many of their most significant transactions. Like Raff and Wright, Edward Griffiths is 'hugely experienced in the private equity world'. The firm is consistently among the most active in the market for UK and European midmarket deals; a recent highlight involved acting for the founders and management sellers in the sale and reinvestment in Third Bridge Group Limited to IK Investment Partners. Another matter saw Raff and others advise LDC on the disposal of Nexinto Limited (a German-based provider of e-commerce hosting sourcing solutions) to The PlusServer Group. The firm is also a strong performer in the large-cap arena, as was evidenced when Griffiths, Wright and senior associate Philip Allenby acted for Paysafe Plc's management team in the acquisition of the company by CVC and Blackstone for £3bn. The group also advised the management team of Holland & Barrett on the £1.8bn acquisition of the business by LetterOne Retail. Anu Balasubramanian departed for Paul Hastings LLP.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher brings its UK and US law expertise to bear on both the buy-side and sell-side of large UK and European private equity transactions. The team is led by Charlie Geffen, who has more than 30 years of experience of private equity buyouts. Other active partners include James Howe, Mark Sperotto and dual-qualified English and New York partner Nicholas Tomlinson. The firm is particularly active in private equity real estate deals; in 2017, Alan Samson was the lead adviser to Oaktree Capital Management on the £743m disposal of a UK business park portfolio to Singapore-listed Frasers Centerpoint. It also handles transactions involving other industries, as was illustrated recently when Sperotto and others acted for Liberty Hall Capital Partners (which focuses on investments in aerospace and defence businesses) in the acquisition of AeroCision LLC. Apollo Global Management, AnaCap Financial Partners, Investcorp and CITIC Capital are among other notable clients.

Goodwin, which is equally strong in mid-cap and large-cap deals, delivers advice that is 'good, pragmatic and quick, and not filled with caveats'. Private equity is a core area of focus for the firm, which particularly stands out for its work in the technology, life sciences and healthcare, financial services and real estate sectors. It acts for more than 20 private equity houses, while other clients include management teams and portfolio companies.¬†Mark Soundy¬†jointly¬†heads up the practice with¬†Richard Lever, with¬†Gemma Roberts¬†being another key partner in the group. Roberts recently led a UK-US team, which advised GTT Communications on its successful acquisition of Interoute for circa ‚ā¨1.9bn, which followed a competitive auction process. In 2017, Soundy, senior associates¬†Anna Cooklin¬†and¬†Matthew Kichenside, and tax partner¬†Sarah Priestley¬†acted for Mergermarket's management team in the ¬£1bn sale of a 30% stake in Mergermarket by BC Partners to GIC. A mid-cap deal involved Soundy, Lever and others advising Bridgepoint and individual members of the management team on the ¬£220m sale of Leeds Bradford International Airport to Australian investment fund AMP. The firm has also handled mandates for clients such as Inflexion, Graphite Capital and Partners Group.

Clients praise Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's 'highly sophisticated advice' on the M&A, financing and tax aspects of mid-cap and large-cap UK and cross-border deals. The group also covers transactions elsewhere in Eastern Europe, as well as Turkey and Africa. In addition to having a sizeable geographical footprint, the practice is also characterised by its strengths in sectors such as energy and infrastructure, real estate, TMT and alternative financial services. In 2017, Patrick Mitchell, and senior associates Tom Marshall and Martin Bittner, were among the advisers to a consortium (including Allianz Capital Partners, DIF and InfraRed) on its acquisition of Affinity Water for £687m. In another notable matter, Geday and John Taylor were part of the cross-practice team, which recently acted for Three Hills Capital Partners in its investment in Byron Hamburgers. Gavin Davies assisted Meredith Corporation with the sale of Time Inc UK to Epiris. Another notable individual is Tomasz Wozniak, who acted for Uber in the circa $3.7bn merger of its assets in the Russia and CIS region with Yandex Taxi. Nicholas Moore is also recommended. Mark Geday, Tomasz Wozniak and Nicholas Moore joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP in August 2018.

Hogan Lovells International LLP's varied workload, which consists of a mix of mid-cap and large-cap deals, spans domestic and cross-border LBO's, secondaries transactions, co-investments and exits among other matters. The firm focuses primarily on transactions involving regulated sectors, including financial services and insurance, TMT, consumer/retail and real estate. Its 'client-focused' global private equity head Tom Whelan, who is 'energetic in pushing through a transaction', has particular experience of acting for tech and tech-enabled businesses. In 2017, Whelan was part of the team which acted for Paysafe Group in its £3bn takeover by a private equity consortium led by Blackstone and CVC. Another standout large-cap deal for the team, which was led by Steven Bryan, involved acting for Brookfield Business Partners in its acquisition of an 85% stake in road fuels supplier Greenergy.  London team head Ed Harris manages the firm's relationships with clients such as Pantheon Ventures, Investindustrial and Terra Firma. In the mid-cap space, Harris and Grimshaw advised another key client Ventiga Capital Partners on its acquisition of Infare Solutions, and also Infare's subsequent purchase of airline and airport data contracts from QL2 Software. Sarah Shaw (who is a recent hire from Allen & Overy LLP) specialises in energy and infrastructure sector transactions.

Jones Day's top-tier status for mid-cap deals is reflected by its prominence in a large number of headline UK and cross-border buyouts. In addition, the firm has a strong market profile in (and has a sizeable share of the market for) large-cap transactions; clients in this space include such names as Bain Capital, Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund and Blackstone. Its dedicated team (which operates within a larger globally integrated group) houses an impressive bench of junior partners, including Liam Bonamy, Ben Shribman and John MacGarty. In 2017, Shribman and Neil Ferguson acted for Canyon Partners and Bain Capital Credit in their £525m sale of the QHotels portfolio to Aprirose; this transaction represented the largest UK hotel transaction of the year. Another notable individual in the group is Raymond McKeeve who recently led a multi-disciplinary cross-office team advising CVC on the $703m acquisition of the international (non-US) women's health assets of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. In addition, McKeeve and Shribman advised L1 Retail (LetterOne's retail investment arm) on the $1.77bn acquisition of Holland & Barrett from The Carlyle Group and The Nature's Bounty Co. Mid-cap deals in 2017 included acting for The Riverside Company in its investment in Impeo Software, and also advising the same client on the acquisition by portfolio company The Dwyer Group of Countrywide Grounds Maintenance. Inflexion, Investcorp and Alcuin Capital Partners also instruct the firm on midmarket transactions. Patrick Stafford is a co-chair of the global private equity practice. Michael Weir joined White & Case LLP.

In addition to advising private equity firms,¬†Shearman & Sterling LLP¬†handles large, multi-jurisdictional transactions for sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, family offices and management teams, among other clients. Its global practice is led by¬†Paul Strecker, who¬†advised The Olayan Group (through its Bahraini subsidiary Hana Investments Co) in 2017 on a $442.8m investment in UAE company NPS Holdings Limited. Strecker also co-leads the London team with¬†Simon Burrows. The firm is also active in mid-cap transactions, as was illustrated by¬†Jeremy Kutner¬†acting for Canada-based company Fairfax Africa in its $160m investment (through a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fairfax Africa) in Atlas Mara.¬†¬†Frank Miller¬†was the lead adviser to CVC Capital Partners on its ‚ā¨90m acquisition of a majority stake in Perseus Healthcare, the holding company for the Metropolitan Hospital Group, from four individual sellers. Associates¬†Paul Pasalic¬†and¬†Richard Porter¬†are also recommended.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's London office¬†has been a hub for¬†multijurisdictional large-cap private equity transactions across Europe for¬†30-years.¬†The firm's M&A offering is complemented by its outstanding¬†funds and banking practices, as well as the support of the wider international network, enabling it to cover all intricacies arising from a wide ambit of deals. Fielding a mix of English and US-qualified lawyers,¬†the firm acts for a notable list of prestigious clients on their most sophisticated matters, including The Carlyle Group, Apax Partners and Silver Lake Partners. Clare Gaskell¬†recently assisted KKR with its circa ‚ā¨6.82bn acquisition of Unilever's Spreads business, while¬†Wheatly MacNamara¬†and¬†Adam Signy¬†advised Blackstone on the circa ‚ā¨12.2bn sale of Logicor to China Investment Corporation. In 2017,¬†Derek Baird¬†acted for KSL Capital Partners in the sale of ESPA to The Hut Group.¬†Ben Spiers¬†is another name to note. In 2017,¬†Wim De Vlieger¬†and¬†Till Lefranc¬†departed for¬†Sidley Austin LLP, while Alvaro Membrillera¬†joined Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.¬†Gregory Conway¬†relocated to the New York office.

At Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP, which has 'really talented lawyers', 'the work is done extremely thoroughly and inspires confidence'. The firm has an excellent track record in complex, multibillion pound cross-border (including transatlantic) deals, Its first-rate M&A offering is supported by complementary areas, such as fund formation, finance, capital markets, regulatory and tax. Since they joined the firm from White & Case LLP in June 2017, Richard Youle and Katja Butler have made a significant impact on the practice; they recently worked with John Adebiyi to act for Hg Capital (the lead investor) in the consortium acquisition of Visma Group Holdings from KKR for $5.3bn; this deal represents the largest-ever European software buyout. Youle and Butler also advised the same client on the potential sale of Ullink to Itiviti (a company backed by Nordic Capital). The group also includes Lorenzo Corte, who has 'outstanding commercial awareness, thinks on his feet, provides sound and reliable advice, and comes up with creative solutions to complex situations'. In 2017, Corte and Sandro de Bernardini worked with the Chicago office to advise Black Diamond Capital Management on the $2.4bn merger of its portfolio company Reichhold Inc with Polynt Group (which is owned by Investindustrial). Silver Lake Partners, L1 Retail and Doughty Hanson are among other clients. Linda Davies and private equity real estate head Robert Porter are recommended.

Slaughter and May's team, which is led by Jeff Twentyman, has expertise in a full spectrum of issues, including buyouts, debt financings of private equity transactions, management equity arrangements and exits. The majority of the group's deals have an international dimension, involving overseas-based target companies, or non-UK buyers or sellers. Susannah Macknay, Filippo de Falco (who made partner in 2017) and others recently acted for Corsair Capital in its acquisition of Italy-based insurance software company RGI from Ardian. Macknay also assisted Palamon Capital Partners with acquiring a majority stake in Swedish company Happy Socks for circa £70m. Elsewhere, in a high-profile deal in the UK real estate sector, Murray Cox was the lead adviser to Tonstate Group in the £500m sale of the Hilton London Metropole and Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotels to funds managed by Henderson Park Capital. Other clients include Apollo Global Management, Global Infrastructure Partners and SVG Capital.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP's strong UK and US private equity M&A expertise is complemented by its ability to cover related bank lending and structured finance issues, as well as capital markets and tax matters, among other areas. It has strong relationships with many of the most active investors, including those that are US-based, as well as those that are headquartered elsewhere internationally.¬†In 2017,¬†Ben Perry¬†acted for Caisse de d√©p√īt et placement du Qu√©bec in its investment, in the form of debt and equity, to support SNC-Lavalin's ¬£2.1bn acquisition by WS Atkins. Perry also worked with¬†Timothy Emmerson¬†and others to assist the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division (GSMBD) with selling its stake in Rothesay Life Plc to Blackstone Group, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. and GIC. Another highlight involved acting for New Energy Investment (an entity controlled by GSMBD) as the selling shareholders with the sale of its remaining stake in DONG Energy by way of four equity offerings; the group handling this matter included Perry, Nikolaos Andronikos, John O‚ÄôConnor,¬†David Rockwell¬†and European counsel¬†Andrew Thomson. Rh√īne Capital, York Capital Management and Oaktree Capital Management are among other clients. Managing partner¬†Richard Pollack¬†leads the private equity group in London. Other key figures include¬†Christopher Howard,¬†Vanessa Blackmore,¬†John Horsfield-Bradbury¬†and Presley Warner.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP's advice to megafund and midmarket sponsors on their most important private equity transactions is a cornerstone of its impressive wider, end-to-end funds offering. Dan Oates leads the London private equity team, which is active in both mid and large-cap transactions, and leverages the firm's strengths in ancillary areas (including tax and competition) to cover the full range of issues on complex deals. In addition to acting for clients on a standalone basis, the group also counts on the support of practitioners based in the US and Germany. In 2017, Oates co-led a cross-office team, which acted for longstanding client AEA Investors in its acquisition of Excelitas Technologies from Veritas Capital. Oates was also among the advisers to Francisco Partners on the sale of a minority interest in BluJay Solutions Group to Temasek. In the mid-cap space, a recent highlight involved Oates and special counsel Simon Saitowitz (who was hired from Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP in 2017) acting for Onex Corporation and portfolio company sgsco in the acquisition of Diadeis. The firm also acts for clients such as 3i Group Plc, HPS Investment Partners, Dyal Capital and KKR. 

Simmons & Simmons undertakes complex mid-cap and large-cap transactions that are connected with the firm's key business sectors, particularly TMT, life sciences, asset management and investment funds, and financial institutions. There has also been an increase in activity in infrastructure and real estate deals. In 2017, Arthur Stewart, who heads up the team in London, was the lead adviser to Veolia on its £735m sale (alongside MF Infrastructure and Morgan Stanley Infrastructure) of shares in Affinity Water Limited to a consortium consisting of Allianz Capital Partners, HICL Infrastructure Company Limited and DIF. Jocelyn Ormond is another notable individual in the group, whose other clients include Brookfield Asset Management, AnaCap Financial Partners and Augmentum Capital. Gideon Sharp heads up the international private equity practice. 

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