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‘Ready to hit the ground running’: former Ashurst PE player Lascelles joins Vinson & Elkins

Private equity specialist Shaun Lascelles, the former Ashurst Singapore head whose departure was announced last month, has joined Vinson & Elkins (V&E) in the City, it has been confirmed today (3 October).

Leaving just over a year after being hired to recharge Ashurst’s private equity practice, Lascelles (pictured) joined in 2015 from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom where he co-headed its global private equity practice. With a particular focus in M&A and private equity, Lascelles advises a broad range of private equity firms, hedge funds, state-owned investment funds and other investment funds.

Lascelles follows former colleague counsel Simon Rootsey who moved to V&E from Skadden in July. While at Skadden, the pair both guided Doughty Hanson through its £935m sale of cinema operator Vue Entertainment to OMERS private equity and AIMCo. Also at Skadden, Lascelles’ team was shortlisted for the Legal Business Private Equity Team of the Year in 2014 for advising BlackRock on the purchase of Credit Suisse’s exchange-traded funds division, giving the client an important footing in Europe.

‘Shaun has earned an excellent reputation in London and beyond as a leading private equity adviser, and his practice perfectly complements our existing client base,’ said Jeff Eldredge, V&E’s head of corporate for Europe, Middle East and Africa. ‘We are focused on strategically growing our group with lawyers just like Shaun.’

Lascelles said: ‘It’s a very exciting opportunity to further expand the M&A and private equity group in London. The firm has been looking to expand its capability in these areas and the senior team in London has more than doubled with the addition of Paul Dunbar, Simon and me and with Daniel Graham being made up to counsel.’

He added: ‘The firm has historically been very strong in energy and Africa, which has been where much of my work has been over the past few years, so it is a very good fit.’

Earlier this year, V&E hired Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer finance partner Ian Frost and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft deal maker Paul Dunbar to bolster its offering in the burgeoning City private equity market.

News of Lascelles’ exit from Ashurst came the same day (15 September) as it was revealed it had lost its Abu Dhabi head Alastair Holland to US firm Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle and its Hong Kong managing partner Lina Lee joining Allen & Overy.

As well as losing Lascelles, Ashurst lost his predecessor, corporate partner Keith McGuire from its Singapore office following his decision to join PwC Legal.