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Big deal: Weil makes symbolic London play with hire of Linklaters M&A star Avery-Gee

In a rare marquee hire for Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Linklaters M&A star David Avery-Gee (pictured) is joining the US firm’s City office.

The hire is a standout move for Weil, which has failed to gain meaningful traction on lofty ambitions to bolster its corporate practice in London to support the office’s managing partner, Mike Francies, who has been acting for some time as the firm’s chief M&A practitioner.

A Linklaters lifer, Avery-Gee has been at the Magic Circle firm for 20 years, advising on complex domestic and cross-border M&A transactions and IPOs in sectors including natural resources, energy and financial services.

A protégé of senior partner Charlie Jacobs, he made partner in 2011 and also had under his belt a valuable stint on the M&A team of the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley from 2005 to 2006.

Michael Aiello, chairman of Weil’s global corporate department said: ‘David’s client-centric approach combined with his technical and commercial skills make him a perfect addition to the leadership of our global M&A boardroom practice.’

Avery-Gee had been involved in running Linklaters’ mining practice and managed several of the firm’s relationships with a number of major Japanese clients.  He was also head of the firm’s Israel practice and headed a group of partners advising clients on the consequences of the UK’s referendum decision to leave the European Union.

He has counted among his key clients Glencore, advising on such deals as its merger with Xstrata, the disposal of Las Bambas, the offer for Volcan, the acquisition of Contonga and the disposal by Glencore of 50% of the Glencore agribusiness to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCIMC).

Other mandates include ESCO, the US mining services company, on its acquisition by Weir Group; US fund manager Alinda on its acquisition of EmiTel, the Polish telecoms infrastructure company and takeover of Energy Assets Group, a UK metering business.

Avery-Gee has also acted on IPOs including the listing of Glencore on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges and EVRAZ to become members of the FTSE 100.

He was interviewed for Legal Business’ ‘Rising Star’ section in 2016 and conveyed a particularly upbeat message about his life-long firm: ‘There is a feeling that we have a golden generation at Linklaters. A really strong group like Matt Bland, Simon Branigan and Dan Schuster-Woldan. Right now we have a confidence and togetherness here. We’re all very determined and we have grown up together and are very excited about where we can go with the practice.’

A spokesperson for Linklaters said: ‘We can confirm that David Avery Gee is leaving the firm after 20 years over which time he has made a valued contribution. He has been offered an opportunity that we could not give him at this time and he leaves as a friend with our best wishes.’