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Latham, Clifford Chance, Milbank and DLA win places on Swiss PE house’s first legal panel

Swiss private equity house Partners Group has picked Latham & Watkins, Clifford Chance, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, Ropes & Gray and DLA Piper for its first formal legal panel.

Partners Group, which has $55bn assets under management, has established a six-firm legal panel to advise on its deals around the world. Legal Business understands that Goodwin Procter, which advised Partners Group on its acquisition of Knowledge Universe’s US early-childhood educational business at the end of last year, also made the cut.

Panels are still something of a rarity in the private equity market, and while Milbank, DLA Piper and Clifford Chance are longstanding advisers to Partners Group, the inclusion of Latham follows its heavy investment in its private equity team in Europe.

Two German hires are believed to have been influential, with Burc Hesse, who switched from Clifford Chance to Latham at the start of 2015, and Rainer Traugott, who was Linklaters’ German head of private equity until moving to Latham earlier this year, both having worked on deals for Partners Group in the past.

It is understood that Linklaters and Weil, Gotshal & Manges, which lost New York PE heavyweight and Partners Group dealdoer David Blittner to Ropes & Gray at the start of the year, both missed out on the panel.

Milbank and Clifford Chance are longstanding advisers to Partners Group, with Milbank handling a string of infrastructure investments across the Americas and Clifford Chance executing on deals across Europe and Asia. Milbank’s recent deal list for Partners Group includes the purchase of large stakes in US solar energy company Silicon Ranch Corporation in April and its purchase of Fermaca, which owns gas pipelines in Mexico, in February 2014.

Clifford Chance’s recent deal list includes Partners Group’s acquisition in 2013 of Hofmann Menu, a German provider of cook and freeze solutions, and purchase of Asian clothing label maker Trimco the year before.

For more on private equity in the City see: ‘ABC – the brutally simple world of a private equity lawyer’