Linklaters secures private equity ‘rising star’ in London from Travers Smith

Genna Marten exit sees top UK independent Travers lose another partner following spate of defections for US rivals

Genna Marten Image courtesy on Linklaters

Linklaters has bolstered its private equity and financial sponsors team in London with the hire of Travers Smith partner Genna Marten.

Marten has joined the magic circle firm after almost 12 years at Travers, where she has been a partner in the private equity and financial sponsors team since 2018.

Hers is the latest in a series of recent partner exits from Travers’ London office, four other partners having quit for US firms since the start of the year. 

She advises private equity and financial sponsor clients and their portfolio companies on transactional and advisory work. She has been recognised as a rising star in the UK for her work with clients including Inflexion, Bridgepoint and The Access Group. 

Alex Woodward, partner and co-head of Linklaters’ financial sponsors practice, commented: “Private equity and financial sponsors continue to drive global M&A activity, with transactions becoming more complex and global in nature. We are therefore thrilled to welcome Genna whose experience, skillset and stellar market reputation makes her a great addition to our team. 

“Our private equity and financial sponsors group continues to see significant demand from our financial sponsor clients. Having Genna alongside the existing partner group will help us continue to meet this demand and support our growth trajectory.”

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Marten’s practice dovetails nicely with Linklaters’ well-regarded private equity offering, which covers the full spectrum of PE work including private M&A, public M&A, carve-out transactions and IPOs and advisory work. 

Woodward leads the team alongside fellow London partner Ben Rodham; another key lawyer is Will Aitken-Davies, who is noted by the Legal 500 for his work on cross-border transactions. The team advises a number of prominent funds including TDR, Apax and Carlyle, and also regularly represents consortiums of investors on large-scale buyouts.

Meanwhile, Travers Smith will be hoping to draw a line under a string of departures since the start of the year. Its deep bench of highly regarded lawyers in and around the private equity space makes it an obvious hunting ground for rival firms seeking talented practitioners. While revenue increased 5% during the 2021 financial year to £195m, unlike many of its London-based rivals the firm saw profit per equity partner drop slightly to £1.1m from £1.22m a year earlier. 

Former private equity and financial sponsors group head Ian Shawyer’s joined Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in January the same month former M&A tax lead Jessica Kemp signed up with White & Case. In February, funds duo Ed Ford and Sacha Gofton-Salmond joined Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Travers' private equity and financial sponsors practice will have 10 partners following Marten’s departure, including practice head Lucie Cawood. The team has a strong track record in the mid-market, where it acts for clients across the full private equity life cycle from acquisitions to bolt-on deals through to exits. 

A Travers spokesperson commented: "The firm is market-leading in private equity, and remains in a strong position. We wish Genna all the best for the next stage of her career."

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