With buyout houses scoping investment opportunities in the oil and gas sector as oil giants look to raise cash amid the oil price slump, MacArthur’s move adds energy and infrastructure M&A ammo as law firms increase investment in this space. Indeed, MacArthur recently advised Antin Infrastructure Partners on its £562m purchase of BG Group’s 63% stake in the Central Area Transmission System (CATS) gas pipeline in the UK North Sea in 2014.
MacArthur also counts private equity houses the Carlyle Group and Cabot Square Capital as clients. Hannam and Partners, the boutique merchant bank fronted by former JP Morgan banker Ian Hannam, is another client.
MacArthur’s exit comes as a blow to HSF, which has focused heavily on growing its energy and infrastructure group since the merger between the UK’s Herbert Smith and Australia’s Freehills in 2012. MacArthur returned to HSF in 2010, having started his career at the firm some eight years earlier. He left the firm the first time around in 2006 to join White & Case as an associate, before joining Kirkland & Ellis where he made partner in the Chicago-bred firm’s City corporate group.
While HSF has never been a force in the City leveraged buyout market, MacArthur has built up a strong reputation for handling private equity investments into the energy and infrastructure space. He also acts for sponsors across TMT, manufacturing, real estate and consumer products sectors.
After a relative lull in the London lateral hiring market, there has been a string of big-billing private equity partner moves from UK to US firms in the past week, with Helen Croke departing Travers Smith for Ropes & Gray and David Holdsworth leaving Linklaters for Kirkland.