After becoming the first US firm to employ more than 400 lawyers in the City last year, White & Case has added Hogan Lovells‘ star corporate partner Guy Potel (pictured) as it bids to become a corporate force in London.
Potel made partner at Hogan Lovells in 2010, two years after joining as an associate from Slaughter and May. Viewed as one of the rising stars at Hogan Lovells, Potel has done deals for the likes of data centre provider Equinix Telecity, real estate investment company Henderson Group and institutional stockbroker Numis Securities. He specialises in M&A in the financial services, consumer and technology sectors.
Potel has a strong track record of working with private equity houses and venture capitalists. His arrival at White & Case comes as part of a drive at the firm to build out its global corporate practice, with Linklaters’ big-billing Hong Kong partner Chris Kelly arriving in February as the firm’s Asia head of corporate and Clifford Chance private equity infrastructure partner Caroline Sherrell and Debevoise & Plimpton’s Kenneth Barry joining in London last October.
The firm has been gathering M&A momentum in Europe since the arrival of private equity duo Richard Youle and Ian Bagshaw from Linklaters in 2012, with the duo’s mid-market approach adding deals volume in London through a client base including HgCapital, Mid Europa Partners, Triton Partners, Novator and Arle. Potel started his career in 1999 at Clifford Chance, working in the same corporate group as Bagshaw after he joined in 2000.
Jan Matejcek, White & Case’s head of corporate for EMEA, said: ‘Guy…will play an important role in the ongoing development of our London public M&A practice, and there are exciting opportunities to work with our private equity team on portfolio company exits, and our equity capital markets team on issuer IPOs and secondary equity offerings by listed companies.’
Oliver Brettle, the US firm’s executive partner in London added: ‘Our strategy to 2020 includes a focus on profitable growth in London, in M&A and in the global technology industry. Guy’s addition drives us forward in all three areas, and follows the arrival of eight new lateral partners in London since the start of 2015.’
The number of lawyers at White & Case’s London office rose 19% in 2015 to 420, with revenue up 22% to $266m as it edged past US rival Latham & Watkins with its City turnover.