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Gibson Dunn finance veteran Gillespie departs for investment business as GC

City finance veteran Stephen Gillespie has left Gibson Dunn & Crutcher after three years to join international investment business  Letterone Holdings as its general counsel.

One of the biggest names in his field with more than 25 years’ experience at London’s most celebrated US and Magic Circle firms, Gillespie joined Gibson in December 2014 from Kirkland & Ellis as part of the LA-headquartered firm’s substantial push to bring on board heavyweight advisers for its London office, becoming co-chair of its global finance team.

His hire for Gibson’s European leveraged and acquisition finance practice was to augment the firm’s other big-name hires at the time, including Charlie Geffen, Nigel Stacey, Jonathan Earle and Mark Sperotto from Ashurst.

Gillespie was previously a senior partner in Kirkland’s European debt finance practice for more than eight years, with noteworthy deals under his belt including advising Smurfit Kappa Group on a €1.5bn refinancing and representing Vista Equity Partners on the £1.2bn take-private of Misys. That deal was the largest take-private transaction completed in London in 2012 and the first hostile takeover since the changes to the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers in September 2011.

Prior to Kirkland, Gillespie was at Allen & Overy for 15 years, where he was a partner between May 1995 to May 2006 and an associate before that. Before A&O, he was an associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Founded in 2013, LetterOne is an asset manager headquartered in Luxembourg. It invests in the energy, telecoms and technology, health and retail spaces via its L1 Energy, L1 Technology, L1 Health and L1 Retail funds.