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Proskauer continues City ramp-up with Bakers’ private equity rainmaker Bertrand-Delfau

Intent on building out the firm’s private equity practice in London, Proskauer Rose has hired one of Baker & McKenzie’s highest earners in the City, EMEA co-head of private equity Bruno Bertrand-Delfau.

Bertrand-Delfau is relationship manager for private equity house Ardian, formerly known as AXA Private Equity. He is known for handling AXA Private Equity’s £460m purchase of a private equity portfolio from Barclays in 2011 when the bank was looking to improve its balance sheet and focus on its core businesses. Specialising in transactions work for private equity and sovereign wealth funds, Bertrand-Delfau is one of Bakers’ biggest billers in the City.

Having started his career in Paris, Bertrand-Delfau had spells as an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Gide Loyrette Nouel before making partner at Ginestie Magellan Paley-Vincent in Paris nine years ago. Having joined up with Bakers’ Paris office in 2008, he transferred to the City in 2013.

Bertrand-Delfau co-heads Bakers’ 150-lawyers private equity group across Europe, the Middle East and Asia with Martin Frey, who will become the sole leader of the group.

Proskauer has ramped up its investment in its London office in the past 12 months, making a string of hires that includes M&A partner James Howe from Kirkland & Ellis and private equity duo Steven Davis and Matt Rees from King & Wood Mallesons and Simmons & Simmons respectively.

The recruits are part of a strategy to provide a bridge to Proskauer’s rainmaking investment funds team, headed by Nigel Van Zyl, which counts HgCapital as a major client. Proskauer, which currently has 41 lawyers in the Square Mile, took an 18,000 sq ft lease in Heron Tower late last year to double its London office space to accommodate up to 100 lawyers.