Simpson Thacher adds fund finance partner in London from Travers Smith

Katie McMenamin’s exit follows funds duo Ed Ford and Sacha Gofton-Salmond defecting to Simpson Thacher earlier this year

Top New York firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has bolstered its fund finance practice in London with the hire of a partner from leading UK independent Travers Smith. 

Katie McMenamin has joined the firm after 13 years at Travers, where she trained and qualified and worked with clients including Banco Santander and the Royal Bank of Scotland. 

McMenamin acts predominantly for lenders but is also experienced in advising borrower clients and sponsors. She regularly works on NAV and subscription facilities as well as hybrid financings, secondaries, GP-support debt facilities and equity products. 

“Katie’s distinct blend of experience advising borrowers and lenders, particularly in the private credit space, will be a significant asset to clients as the fund financing market continues to expand and evolve,” said Alden Millard, chair of Simpson Thacher’s executive committee. “We are very pleased to welcome her to the firm.”

McMenamin has joined Simpson Thacher as the third partner in its London fund finance team after practice co-heads Stephen Short and Kate Sinclair. The team also includes senior counsel Jacob Durkin, according to the firm’s website. 

Her arrival at Simpson Thacher follows funds partners Ed Ford and Sacha Gofton-Salmond joining from Travers earlier this year, as the firm positioned itself to exploit the increasingly lucrative secondaries deals market. 

“Katie’s practice will be beneficial to sponsors across strategies – from private equity, real estate and energy and infrastructure, to secondaries and credit funds,” said Jason Glover, head of Simpson Thacher’s London office. 

“Her hire reflects the continued enhancement of our London-based funds offering, cementing our position as a leader amongst advisors for global investment funds.”

Simpson Thacher’s wider London funds team is among the dominant forces in the big-ticket buyout space and boasts the largest US and European private equity firms as clients, including EQT, which the firm has been advising on its flagship EQT X buyout fund. 

McMenamin’s exit follows a run of partner losses from Travers in early 2023 that included former private equity and financial sponsors group head Ian Shawyer moving to Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and private equity and fund formation lawyers joining Linklaters and Dechert. 

Travers has since moved to restock its funds team, adding Tosin Adeyeri as a partner in August from Proskauer Rose to bolster its fund formation and secondary transactions work and making up two lawyers to partner in the financial services and markets team in its summer promotions round. 

A Travers spokesperson said of McMenamin’s departure: “We would like to thank Katie for her contribution to our finance practice and wish her the best in her new role.”

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