Latham & Watkins has secured the services of two of the highest profile names in the City’s infrastructure private equity space in a double hire at the expense of Clifford Chance (CC) and Allen & Overy (A&O).
CC’s private equity offering took a knock amid one of the firm’s most senior departures in years as infrastructure head Brendan Moylan quit for Latham & Watkins.
Meanwhile, A&O’s saw the departure of senior finance hand Conrad Andersen, another infrastructure veteran.
‘They are the two leading infrastructure lawyers in London if not in Europe,’ Latham’s corporate vice-chair David Walker told Legal Business. ‘Conrad on the financing and Brendan on the M&A side. Overnight we have the pre-eminent infrastructure PE team.’
With sector specialisation touted as one of the key differentiators of CC’s sponsor capabilities, Moylan led on a number of big mandates during his 19 years with the firm.
His is the highest profile PE move from the Magic Circle firm to Latham since the US giant recruited practice co-head Oliver Felsenstein in 2015 and means Moylan will also be re-united with his former colleagues David Walker, Tom Evans and Kem Ihenacho, who quit CC between 2013 and 2014.
Moylan’s name emerged as one of CC’s key sponsor practitioners in Legal Business’ recent analysis of the firm’s PE practice and his colleagues described his work as ‘phenomenal’.
This year he led the team advising private equity house 3i Group in the €1.7bn sale of its stake in Scandlines and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) on the acquisition of Singapore’s Equis Energy for $5bn.
GIP is also a big client of Latham’s, no doubt one of the reasons that made Moylan attractive to the US firm, which has been on the hunt for top names in the European infra world for a while.
The $3bn firm has been expanding outside its transactional heartland in the City over the last few months, with hires including Linklaters’ London partner and former Asia head of financial regulation Carl Fernandes in May and, the same month, tapped CC’s German practice hiring Thomas Weitkamp in Munich.
Two weeks ago, Latham also bolstered its restructuring team, hiring deal star Yen Sum and her colleague Jennifer Brennan from US rival Sidley Austin.