Latham builds London funds team with twin hire from Sidley

‘Next generation’ partner Mateja Maher departs after three-and-a-half years at Chicago giant
A photo of the Latham & Watkins sign outside its City of London office

Latham is adding Mateja Maher and Adrian Grocock in London Shutterstock

Latham & Watkins has boosted its London private funds capability with the appointment of two partners from US rival Sidley Austin.

Moving across are highly rated Sidley partner Mateja Maher and senior associate Adrian Grocock, who is joining as a partner. The pair’s expertise encompasses fund formations, secondary transactions, GP-led restructurings and fund-level liquidity offerings.

Maher joined Sidley as a partner in November 2019 from private capital advisory firm Campbell Lutyens, where he was general counsel. He is dubbed a next generation partner by the Legal 500 directory. Grocock’s career to this point also includes stints at Macfarlanes and Kirkland & Ellis. He joined Sidley in June 2020.

Oliver Felsenstein, global chair of Latham’s private equity and investment funds practice, described the pair as “dynamic, hands-on and entrepreneurial”, adding: “We continue to see an increasing sophistication and complexity of deals across Europe and globally, and their expertise strongly complements our talented team.”

The Legal 500 currently ranks Latham and Sidley alongside each other in the third band for private funds work with Kirkland & Ellis and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett sitting in the first tier. 

Funds lawyers have been in high demand in London. In January, top London independent Macfarlanes made a relatively rare partner-level lateral when it secured the highly rated Stephen Ross from Sidley.

In March, Dechert bolstered its funds formation offering with the hire of partner Sam Kay from Travers Smith. Last summer, Kirkland & Ellis hired two real estate-focused investment funds partners in London: Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s Louise Cobbe and up-and-coming Ashurst partner Catherine Gokah.

Meanwhile, Sidley last month secured two private equity partners from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison in London: Ramy Wahbeh, who is joining as co-leader its global private equity practice, and Kaisa Kuusk. 

For Latham, the hire comes hard on the heels of that of equity capital markets specialist Mark Austin from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Austin has played a leading role helping the City of London reform its listing regime to maintain its competitiveness.

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