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Freshfields names Pritchard new corporate boss as dealmaker Marchant retires after 30 years

M&A partner Julian Pritchard has been named Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s new London deals head following the announcement stalwart dealmaker Simon Marchant (pictured) is retiring in July.

Pritchard will take the title of London head of transactions in replacing the corporate veteran Marchant, who has been at the Magic Circle firm for nearly 30 years.

Pritchard and Marchant co-led on a major deal last November, advising UK energy giant SSE on the separation of its retail business, which was then merged with rival Npower and listed on the London Stock Exchange as an independent energy supplier.

Pritchard, who is dual-qualified in England and the US, joined Freshfields in 1993 and was made up to partner in 2002. He served as the firm’s US managing partner for five years between 2009 and 2014 before relocating back to London. He also has a three-year stint at the firm’s Tokyo office under his belt.

Marchant joined the firm in 1989 and has been a partner since 1997. He was appointed as its City corporate head in May 2014 after Julian Long was elected as London managing partner. He has previously headed up the firm’s Asia business in Hong Kong and has been co-head of London M&A.

Freshfields’ corporate practice has had a rollercoaster few months, with the dramatic shake-up of its partnership last December followed by the $10m transfer of rainmaker David Higgins to Kirkland & Ellis, a move which sent shockwaves through the corporate world.

Nevertheless, the deal team has enjoyed a raft of impressive mandates recently, advising broadcasting giant Comcast on its £22bn bid for Sky and US cable player Liberty Global on the €18.4bn sale of its European assets to Vodafone.