24 Nov 2022

Ropes & Gray’s London chief departs for Bain Capital

Will Rosen joins longtime client as European general counsel for private equity following 12-month secondment with the firm

Will Rosen Image courtesy of Ropes & Gray

US private equity firm Bain Capital has secured the head of Ropes & Gray’s London office for a senior role in its legal team. 

Private equity lawyer Will Rosen has joined the company permanently as its European general counsel for private equity following a 12-month secondment with the firm.

“We thank him for all of his dedication and service to Ropes & Gray, and although we will miss him at the firm, we look forward to the opportunity to continue working closely with Will at our client Bain Capital,” a Ropes spokesperson said.

Noted by Chambers and the Legal 500 for his work handling big-ticket deals, Rosen advised Bain Capital on a number of matters while at Ropes including the purchase of a controlling stake in MKM, the UK's largest independent builders' merchant, and the acquisition of TI Automotive. 

An experienced private equity M&A lawyer, Rosen had served as Ropes’ sole London managing partner since 2020 but was first appointed to co-lead the London office alongside Mike Goetz in 2018. He joined Ropes in 2011 from a role as head of private equity for EMEA at DLA Piper and earlier spent several years as a partner at Weil Gotshal & Manges. 

Ropes has had a relationship with Bain since the private equity firm’s inception in 1984 and although such a lengthy secondment is unusual for the London market - the seconding of senior partner being much more common in the US - it was widely seen as a logical way to underpin an important client relationship. 

During his secondment at Bain, Rosen supported Linford Coates, who stepped in as European general counsel for private equity on an interim basis following the departure of previous incumbent Bart Gombert. Gombert moved to Hong Kong late last year to serve in a new role as Bain’s Asia general counsel. 

Coates will continue to work closely with Rosen at Bain as deputy general counsel of private equity Europe. 

Meanwhile, at Ropes, finance partner Jane Rogers, who stepped in as London managing partner during Rosen’s secondment, will now assume the role permanently.

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

Rosen’s departure is one of a number of changes this year for the roughly 50-strong team, which also saw veteran PE transactions partner Kiran Sharma retire in the spring. That was followed by the arrival of a trio of partners in April from Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson that included the head of Fried Frank’s European PE team, Dan Oates.

In September, private equity firm Advent International appointed Ropes's global private equity transactions head, Boston-based Amanda McGrady Morrison, as its new general counsel and chief legal officer, replacing James Westra who is retiring at the end of this year.