Trowers targets private equity mandates with double partner hire from Gateley

Top 40 UK firm looks to grow lower-to-mid-market private equity work with London hires
Headshots of Mark Metcalfe and Sarah Souter

Sarah Souter and Mark Metcalfe

Trowers & Hamlins has hired a pair of private equity partners from Gateley in London to help it target lower-to-mid-market private equity work.

Mark Metcalfe and Sarah Souter are long-term colleagues, having worked together throughout their legal careers, first at BDB Pitmans, and then at Gateley, which they joined in 2016.

Metcalfe, with a background in advising on all aspects of the private equity life cycle, and Souter, with a focus in early-stage investments, represent significant enhancements to the firm’s private equity offering.

Head of corporate Tim Nye said: “Trowers is committed to further expanding and deepening its presence in private equity. These appointments are just the first move in our ambitious plans to significantly grow the firm’s offering in the PE market.”

Metcalfe, who made partner at Gateley in 2019, focuses on advising businesses in London and the South East, including on mergers and acquisitions across funds, portfolio companies, management teams and founders.

Souter, who became a partner at Gateley in 2021, has a specific focus on representing venture capital trusts and investee companies on initial investments, follow-on rounds and restructuring.

Trowers’ corporate department is the second-largest in the firm in terms of partner numbers with 27, behind real estate with 69 partners, according to data supplied by Pirical.

During the three years to the end of March, the number of corporate partners grew by 25%, while there was a 4% dip in the ranks of property partners, six having left the firm last year alongside a round of redundancies within the team.

Other key areas of investment for Trowers, include projects and energy and infrastructure, which with 19 partners, is the third-largest department and fastest growing team having doubled in size since April 2021, according to Pirical.

And in February the firm hired partner Hendrik Puschmann from Farrer & Co to co-head its arbitration group, ahead of a planned office opening in Singapore. 

The dual-qualified German and English lawyer now co-leads Trower’s international arbitration practice across its nine offices in the UK, the Middle East and Asia.

In January, Gateley, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, reported a 2.4% increase in legal services revenue for its half-year to 31 October 2023. 

“After activity levels increased in Q2 24, Q3 to date has been more subdued, particularly for some of our legal services transactional teams,” the firm said.

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