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Freshfields PE heavyweight Higgins to stand down as head of GFI group

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer private equity head Adrian Maguire is to become head of the firm’s global financial investors (GFI) sector group taking over the role from heavyweight David Higgins.

The firm’s GFI group, one of its eight sector groups, covers private equity funds, pension funds, infrastructure funds, sovereign wealth funds and alternative capital providers.

With clients such as Cinven and Warburg Pincus, Maguire is frequently cited as a key partner within the City’s private equity market. He will take over the role in January working alongside fellow co-head Markus Paul who is based in Frankfurt.

Regarded as one of the top private equity players in the City with clients such as Blackstone and Cinven, Higgins (pictured) will relinquish his role, which he held for six years, to focus on full time client work.

Freshfields has recently advised CVC Capital Partners as it looked to sell off Formula One (F1) to Liberty Media Corporation for £6.4bn with rising star Charles Hayes leading the team.

In January it was revealed Maguire led the Freshfields team advising Advent International on the sale of the Priory, the rehab clinic known for its celebrity clients, to Acadia for £1.3bn, after buying it in 2011 for £925m.

Freshfields advised Carlyle Group as the private equity firm picked up chemicals firm Atotech from Total for $3.2bn with both Maguire and Higgins taking a role.

Freshfields remains a top player in the City’s private equity market, with a brand built on a reputation originally built on by Chris Bown’s push to treat sponsor work as core to the business.

Read more in: ‘The M&A Report – Private equity offers the clients for all seasons’