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Proskauer makes major LevFin play with Reed Smith partner Ben Davis

US firm Proskauer Rose has hired leveraged finance partner Ben Davis from Reed Smith as it ramps up growth of its finance team in the City.

Davis leaves Reed Smith just two years after joining from Travers Smith, where he was promoted to partner in 2011. With Proskauer Rose growing its London arm around funds, private equity and finance, Davis’ practice, which is built up of alternative lenders, private equity sponsors and financial institutions, adds strength in a key area.

Focusing on both the mid-market and upper market, Davis has broad experience advising on unitranche loans, second lien facilities, mezzanine and high-yield bonds, as well as real estate finance.

Steven Ellis, co-head of Proskauer’s multi-tranche finance group, said: ‘Alternative lenders in the UK, and globally, require sophisticated legal counsel who truly understand their business objectives and can provide market insight on both sides of the pond.’

Davis’ arrival follows the recent additions of leveraged finance partner Alexander Griffith and private equity real estate duo Jo Owen and Vikki McKay from DLA Piper. Steven Davis, a big-name hire from King & Wood Mallesons where he once headed the firm’s European corporate practice, kick started the firm’s play for private equity M&A in London when he joined at the end of 2014.

The appointment of private equity deal doer James Howe from Kirkland & Ellis and Baker & McKenzie’s EMEA co-head of private equity Bruno Bertrand-Delfau followed in 2015.

‘Ben’s experience in leveraged finance matters fits perfectly within our corporate platform in London and globally, where we continue to serve asset managers in their most significant matters,’ said Mary Kuusisto, head of Proskauer’s London office.