22 Jun 2020

Trio of transatlantic private equity partners rejoin Hogan Lovells from Paul Hastings

Secondaries specialists make surprise return to former firm after high-profile 2019 defection

Ed Harris and Leanne Moez

Ed Harris and Leanne Moezi, the London-based members of the trio

A transatlantic team of three private equity partners is returning to Hogan Lovells less than a year after switching to Paul Hastings.

The return of the trio — former Hogan Lovells London co-head of private equity Ed Harris, Adam Brown and Leanne Moezi — was welcomed today by an “absolutely delighted” global head of corporate David Gibbons.

"They are truly excellent practitioners and will further add to our strong market position in London and the Americas,” he said.

Harris and Moezi are moving back to Hogan Lovells’ London office while Brown will return to the firm’s Northern Virginia branch after his short spell at Paul Hasting’s Washington office.

The team advise on leveraged buyouts, preferred equity and similar transactions for private investment fund sponsors and their portfolio companies.

They have also worked on a number of secondaries deals including most recently advising UK fund-of-funds Pantheon on its acquisition of a portfolio of investments in 12 growth companies by a newly established private fund, Idinvest Growth Secondary SLP.

This deal, which completed last week, is said to be the largest secondaries deal of its kind in Europe.

At the time, the trio’s capture by Paul Hastings last summer was the latest of a series of eye-catching senior corporate hires in London by the West Coast US firm, which was placed 14th in Mergermarket's global private equity (buy outs and exits) league table by volume for 2019 having advised on 65 deals with a combined value of $12.7bn.

In March 2019, it hired infrastructure and energy partner Steven Bryan, also from Hogan Lovells, while in 2018 it secured senior M&A partner Roger Barron from Linklaters and ‘rising star’ private equity partner Anu Balasubramanian from DLA Piper.

Harris had cited Paul Hasting’s “entrepreneurial spirit” and private equity “momentum” in London as reasons for his decision to switch firms.

He said of the team’s return to Hogan Lovells that they were “very happy to have this opportunity to re-join Hogan Lovells and to work with a team we know well”.

He added: “The collaborative culture at Hogan Lovells is unlike any other firms and we know well their excellent reputation, industry knowledge and dedication to client service.”

In April, Hogan Lovells’ incoming chief executive, Miguel Zaldivar, announced a radical shake up of the firm’s structure and leadership in a bid to speed up decision making.