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Shearman hires Freshfields head of telecoms Miller in push to broaden City M&A offering

Shearman & Sterling has hired Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s co-head of telecoms, media and technology, Frank Miller, as the firm bids to pull in a greater array of M&A in the City.

Miller, who also spearheads the Magic Circle firm’s efforts in Israel, is the type of hire Shearman has been looking for in London. A longstanding corporate partner with a presence in the private equity (PE) space, Miller is qualified in both US and English law, and will strengthen Shearman’s M&A offering in the City. He leaves Freshfields after 16 years, having joined in 1999 from New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and made up to partner four years later.

Having previously been lacking in senior corporate partners, European head of M&A Laurence Levy aside, Shearman’s London office has worked to build a strong offering in the past two years. Miller’s arrival comes as part of a gradual build-up of the firm’s City corporate bench, which has seen a three-partner team arrive in the middle of 2013 led by Weil, Gotshal & Manges’ PE heavyweight Mark Soundy, and, this time last year, Ben Rodham join from Addleshaw Goddard. The firm now has six mainstream corporate partners in London.

While Miller will primarily handle mainstream corporate work, having built a steady stable of clients that includes healthcare giant Colgate-Palmolive, drinks company PepsiCo and engine maker Rolls-Royce, his work for Freshfields’ PE team will also help Shearman build in that space. Having already gained momentum from becoming a preferred adviser to PE house Bridgepoint at the end of last year, Shearman will benefit from Miller’s experience advising the Magic Circle firm’s longstanding clients CVC and Cinven. He also advised Permira on its sale of Dutch animal-nutrition business Provimi to Cargill for $2.14bn in 2011, and is known for advising ketchup maker Heinz on its takeover by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital in 2013.

Creighton Condon, Shearman’s senior partner commented: ‘We are delighted that Frank is coming to Shearman & Sterling, with increasing M&A activity, we envision significant opportunities in London, Europe and globally to support our clients on their critical M&A transactions.’

It is the second time in six months that Shearman has taken a corporate partner from the Magic Circle, with Clifford Chance’s Robert Masella joining the firm’s New York office in April.