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Latham takes another private equity partner from the Magic Circle as Linklaters’ Traugott departs

US firm Latham & Watkins has hired Linklaters‘ German head of private equity Rainer Traugott as it continues its aggressive push into the European private equity market.

Traugott leaves Linklaters after 14 years at the firm and his exit comes as another blow to the firm’s private equity practice, following the departure of Ian Bagshaw and Richard Youle in London to White & Case in 2013, the loss of Peggy Wang in Hong Kong to the same firm last year, and the recent exit of Roger Johnson to Kirkland & Ellis in the City. Linklaters Hong Kong-based corporate partner Christopher Kelly, who handled work for the Carlyle Group, resigned earlier this month.

Traugott, who made partner in 2003, turned private equity house Triton into one of the firm’s biggest clients in Germany. He has also helped to build up the firm’s relationship with engineering conglomerate Siemens, primarily through lighting company Osram, a subsidiary which he advised when it spun-off in 2013.

His arrival at Latham’s Munich office comes a year after the firm hired Clifford Chance’s global co-head of private equity, Oliver Felsenstein, and partner Burc Hesse in Frankfurt.

Latham’s expansion in Germany followed a steady string of recruits in the City which began with the hire of David Walker three years ago from Clifford Chance. Felsenstein was Walker’s successor as global head of private equity at Clifford Chance. The veteran deal doer, who has close relationships with the Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman, subsequently hired private equity partners Tom Evans and Kem Ihenacho from Clifford Chance in London.

The firm’s rapid global expansion over the past five years, largely built on the back of its finance and private equity practices, saw it surpass Baker & McKenzie as the largest law firm in the world last year by revenue, with turnover of $2.61bn.

Subscribers can read more about the private equity market in: ‘ABC – the brutally simple world of a private equity lawyer.’