Shearman hires Travers Smith London M&A head to boost global deals team

Phil Cheveley will lead Shearman's EMEA M&A practice alongside Laurence Levy

Shearman & Sterling has hired corporate lawyer Phil Cheveley to bolster its London M&A team, part of a wider strategy to grow its global deals capability.

Cheveley joins as a partner from Travers Smith, and will be head of M&A for Europe, Middle East and Africa alongside Laurence Levy. Cheveley’s experience spans both domestic and cross-border public and private transactions, notably in the financial services, industrials and infrastructure sectors. Shearman said Cheveley’s practice will also enhance the firm’s equity capital markets (ECM) and restructuring business.

David Beveridge, senior partner at Shearman, said: “Phil adds further corporate and private equity expertise to our M&A offering in London, reinforcing our strong global platform. Phil’s appointment is part of the continuing expansion of our M&A practice globally – including in London – which is a key component of our long-term strategy.”

Cheveley spent just over 17 years at Travers Smith, most recently as head of corporate M&A and ECM.

George Casey, Shearman’s global managing partner and global M&A practice group leader, said: “[Cheveley] has a diverse practice which complements our existing high-end English law M&A capability, adding invaluable experience of working with public companies on M&A, equity capital raising and the corporate advisory side.”

Cheveley is the second senior Travers transactional lawyer to join a US firm in recent months following Latham & Watkins’ hire of Travers Smith’s co-head of corporate, Paul Dolman, in December. London’s premier independent law firm, Slaughter and May, also experienced a rare corporate partner loss to a US firm recently with corporate partner Murray Cox decamping to Weil Gotshal & Manges last month.

Meanwhile, Cheveley’s arrival at Shearman is the firm’s eighth lateral hire this year, including financial restructuring and insolvency partner Mark Shapiro, who rejoined the firm in New York, and antitrust and litigation partner Ryan Shores, who rejoined the firm in Washington DC following a stint at the Department of Justice. 

The firm also announced plans in January to reopen its Munich office, seven years after exiting Germany’s private equity hub. The US firm raided Linklaters for two acquisition finance partners to spearhead the relaunch – Florian Harder and Jann Jetter. M&A specialist Harder will head the firm’s Munich and existing Frankfurt office.

Last month, Shearman lost its veteran Paris-based arbitration practice co-heads Emmanuel Gaillard and Yas Banifatemi, who departed to set up their own independent disputes boutique Gaillard Banifatemi Shelbaya Disputes. They were joined by six other former Shearman partners – Mohamed Shelbaya, Coralie Darrigade, Maude Lebois and Benjamin Siino in Paris, Ximena Herrera-Bernal in London and Daniel Reich in New York.

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