Ropes & Gray secures three-partner private equity team from Fried Frank in London

Boston-based firm continues ‘impressive trajectory’ in UK as PE team seeks to build on record 2021
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Ropes & Gray has hired a trio of private equity partners in London from Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, led by the head of its European PE practice Dan Oates.

The arrival of Oates and his team will boost the number of partners at Ropes & Gray’s London office to 33 out of a total of 170 lawyers, of whom around 50 specialise in private equity work.

The Boston-based firm said their hires continued ‘an impressive trajectory’ in London where it has secured three other partners over the last 12 months as well as making up four new partners from within its ranks.

Moving across with Oates, who joined Fried Frank in 2015 from Kirkland & Ellis, are Simon Saitowitz, who was made up in 2019, and Angela Becker, one of 12 new partners unveiled this January by Fried Frank.

Clients advised by Oates during his tenure at the New York firm include 3i, KKR, Apax Partners and CVC Capital Partners. In February, he co-led the team that advised Permira on its leading of a $180m funding round for UK tech firm GWI.

Ropes & Gray’s London private equity team advised on a record 105 transactions worth £97bn last year, according to the firm, which is highly rated by the legal directory Chambers & Partners for high-end UK-wide buy-out work.

Jane Rogers, acting managing partner of Ropes & Gray’s London office, said: “We have enjoyed an impressive trajectory in recent years, as our clients entrust us with their largest and most complex matters.”

Last month, antitrust partner Annie Herdman joined the firm’s London office from Kirkland & Ellis and last year the firm secured funds partner Emily Brown from Schulte Roth & Zabel and life sciences regulatory partner Dr Lincoln Tsang from Arnold & Porter.

But it hasn't all been one-way traffic, the firm having lost Judith Seddon, the global co-head of its white collar and government enforcement practice, to Dechert last month.

The firm’s London office head, Will Rosen, meanwhile, is mid-way through a year-long secondment with key firm client Bain Capital. 

A Fried Frank spokesperson said London remained a strategic priority for the firm which had “seen enhanced growth and cross-border client work in the region”. She added that the firm remained “committed to further enhancing our strong presence in London”.

In January, the firm opened in Brussels, adding a fifth office to its network and its third in Europe alongside London and Frankfurt. And in February it hired a quintet of financial services lawyers from Wall Street rival Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft to bolster its finance teams in New York and Washington.

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