Freshfields continues US hiring drive with addition of two Latham private capital partners

Duo join in New York as global co-head of private capital and head of US private capital respectively

Neal Reenan (l) and Ian Bushner Images courtesy of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has added a pair of private equity dealmakers in New York from US rival Latham & Watkins to lead its capital markets team.  

Neal Reenan has joined as global co-head of private capital while Ian Bushner will serve as head of US private capital. Reenan will co-lead the practice alongside Charles Hayes and Arend von Riegen, who are based in London and Frankfurt respectively.

“We are excited to welcome Neal and Ian to our private capital practice to help lead the next phase of expansion of our private equity capabilities globally,” said Freshfields’ senior partner, Georgia Dawson. “They have a track record of team building while attracting premier clients and top tier legal talent that aligns with our global, client-focused strategy.”

Reenan and Bushner have more than two decades of experience representing global and US large cap and middle market private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies and regularly structure, negotiate and execute complex US and cross-border acquisition, divestiture and financing transactions on their behalf.  

The duo joined Latham in 2020 from Kirkland & Ellis, where they were founding partners of the Boston office, and have worked with clients including Bain Capital Private Equity, TPG Capital and H.I.G. Capital.  

Freshfields has more than 400 lawyers in the US after expanding with prominent hires in New York, Washington DC and Silicon Valley in recent years. Reenan and Bushner’s arrival in New York follows M&A partner Sanjay Murti joining the office last month from Cravath Swaine & Moore, shortly after M&A partner Steven Li moved over from Kirkland & Ellis.  

Last July the firm also added Tim Clark in New York from Goodwin Procter to lead its global funds practice.  

Going the other way, leading London equity capital markets specialist Mark Austin left Freshfields last June after 12 years as a partner to join Latham’s formidable City ECM team.  

Freshfields was the only non-US firm to feature in the top 10 of LSEG’s 2023 global M&A legal advisor rankings by deal value, coming in seventh after advising on deals worth $278.3bn. Meantime Latham worked on deals worth $385.4bn, a performance that saw it come in second behind Kirkland & Ellis. 

The result saw Freshfields sit some way ahead of its international UK Magic Circle rivals, with Clifford Chance ranking 15th after working on deals worth $158.8bn, Linklaters 17th ($133.6bn) and Allen & Overy 24th ($97.2bn).  

The firm said its US rankings in 2023 increased across all three deal league tables – Bloomberg, Mergermarket and LSEG – placing it in the top 10 once again and with deal volume in excess of $194bn.

The firm’s private capital practice was ranked in first place for European private equity deals by value by LSEG, having advised on 62 deals valued at $75.9bn.  

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