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Brodies hires Freshfields partner Fountain amid double corporate hire

Scottish firm Brodies is taking its private equity offering up a gear by hiring Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Karen Fountain as part of a double lateral hire into its corporate group.

Brodies has hired fund specialist Fountain and CMS Cameron McKenna private equity partner Douglas Crawford to increase the number of partners at the firm to 94.

Fountain, who recently finished advising Barclays on the spin-off of its natural resources private equity fund, retired from Freshfields in April after 15 years at the firm, having joined from Slaughter and May in 1999. She was a partner for 12 of those years, becoming a key part of the firm’s City funds group.

Intent on returning to Scotland upon her retirement, Fountain joins Brodies’ Edinburgh office, bringing with her expertise in fund formation, joint ventures, investor and management arrangements and regulatory issues.

Crawford, already a senior name in the Scottish legal market, leave CMS just 18 months after the firm’s rescue deal for Dundas & Wilson.

Crawford, who spent five of his 17 years at Dundas & Wilson heading the former Scottish elite firm’s corporate department, joins Brodies as head of private equity.

The energy specialist, who is particularly active in the oil and gas space, will join the firm’s Aberdeen office. Graphite Capital and Bank of Scotland are among his clients. 

The appointments will boost the firm at a time – according to managing partner Bill Drummond – when private equity work is buoyant in Scotland, filling holes left by the relocation of banking work to the City post-Lehman.

Drummond said: ‘At a time when the role of private equity and funds in stimulating a return to economic growth in Scotland and the wider UK is ever-more important, we are very pleased to be looking forward to welcoming Doug and Helen to Brodies. Their expertise will be of value to many clients looking to make investments and establish new vehicles to take advantage of that growth and help stimulate more economic activity.’