Legal Business

Deal view: A&O does private equity – faint praise confounded but a plateau lurks

‘Since Stephen Lloyd joined Allen & Overy (A&O) its star has definitely risen in the world of private equity,’ says one rival partner. As wringing any non-contemptuous words from rivals in the thrusting world of leveraged finance is hard, this view counts as high praise.

The team had a bumper couple of years after Lloyd defected from Ashurst in 2013, shortly joined by ex-colleague Karan Dinamani. Their arrival augmented a practice that previously relied on Gordon Milne as its sole dedicated UK partner. The recruitment of Lloyd, which former senior partner David Morley took a personal hand in, was symbolic for a shop that until then seemed to view private equity (PE) as a conflict-strewn liability for its debt finance team rather than an opportunity for the M&A department.