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‘A true asset’: Travers Smith private equity star Phil Sanderson set to join Ropes & Gray

City firm Travers Smith has lost heavyweight private equity partner Phil Sanderson who is set to join US firm Ropes & Gray. 

It is known that Sanderson, who trained at Travers Smith and became a partner in 2001, was also in talks with US firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and a Magic Circle firm.

As a member of the firm’s private equity group since its inception, his move will be viewed as a substantial loss to the practice. High profile clients of Sanderson includes designer shoe label Jimmy Choo, and major investors Phoenix Equity Partners and Exponent Private Equity.

The longstanding partner had recently stepped down from his role as head of private equity after the top-45 firm carried out a management overhaul. Succeeded by fellow private equity partner Paul Dolman, other changes saw financial services head Margaret Chamberlain, real estate head Julian Bass and banking and corporate recovery head Jeremy Walsh also step down from their respective management roles.

The traditionally independent City firm also lost leverage finance partner Ben Davis in March, after he moved to US firm Reed Smith’s London office.

Alfred Rose, head of Ropes & Gray private equity transactions practice, said: ‘Phil Sanderson will be a true asset to the firm’s private equity practice, both in London and globally.  His broad skill set and market reputation enhance our service offering to our sophisticated corporate, hedge fund and private equity clients.’

Maurice Allen, London senior partner, added: ‘Our sophisticated clients’ business needs have rapidly evolved.  Phil’s arrival will give us more capacity to not only serve our client base but also build on existing opportunities presented to us.’