22 Sep 2022

Fried Frank hires senior private equity partner from Travers Smith in London

New York firm flags European M&A and private equity as key part of global client strategy

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Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson has hired senior private equity lawyer James Renahan from Travers Smith as a partner in London. 

Renahan brings more than two decades of experience handling complex cross-border M&A and private equity transactions for pan-European and international corporates, private equity firms and institutional investors, among other clients. He has moved over to Fried Frank having spent his entire career at Travers, where he made partner in 2011. 

Fried Frank London managing partner, Ashar Qureshi, said Renahan will work closely with M&A partner Ian Lopez to develop the firm’s bench strength. 

“Our European transactions practice is a key part of our global client strategy,” Qureshi said. “James’ arrival greatly enhances our private equity and M&A offering in Europe, buttressing our ability to provide a full-service offering across the full private equity fund cycle.” 

One of just a handful of London independent firms with M&A strength and depth, Travers Smith has faced periodic raids by leading US firms seeking to recruit top tier talent for more than two decades.

In March last year, Shearman & Sterling hired Phil Cheveley to be co-head of M&A for Europe, Middle East and Africa, while Latham & Watkins secured Paul Dolman, who was co-head of corporate, in December 2020.

A spokesperson for Travers said: “Whilst we will be sorry to see James go and wish him all the best for the future, we will continue to work with our global client base, helping them achieve their goals.”

Renahan’s hire serves to replenish Fried Frank’s private equity bench in London after the firm parted ways with its former European private equity leader Dan Oates earlier this year. Oates decamped for Ropes & Gray in April along with partners Simon Saitowitz and Angela Becker. 

Fried Frank has grown its London office to around 80 lawyers since opening there in 1971, a move that made it one of the first US firms to establish a presence in Europe. Renahan’s arrival brings the office’s partner tally to 22. 

In January, the firm added to its bases in New York, Washington DC, London and Frankfurt with the launch of an office in Brussels. Fried Frank chairman, David Greenwald, said at the time that the move advanced the firm’s “strategy of growing our European presence and continuing to align our offerings in Europe with the core strengths of the firm in the US”.