A Signy of the times

Step forward Adam Signy. Following his shock departure from Clifford Chance earlier this year, Signy has been getting stuck in at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and has just closed his first major deal for the US firm. Working alongside partner Farhad Karim, Signy has advised Blackstone Group on its purchase of a 50 per cent stake in British Land’s City of London Broadgate estate (see story).

At £77m the size of the deal is hardly earth shattering, but given that the terms of the transaction will see Blackstone take on £1bn of British Land’s debt, the transaction is certainly significant.

And that significance won’t be lost on Clifford Chance, which is still licking its wounds after a dismal 2008-09 financial year.

For Blackstone’s go-to US counsel Simpson Thacher, which prior to Signy’s arrival had never shown too much interest in the London market, it’s a sign that the firm can compete with the finest the UK has to offer when it comes to private equity deals.

And at just the right time too.

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Also on TheLawyer.com: Halliwells managing partner Ian Austin steps down to become executive chairman; plans for Halliwells and Manches to merge are mothballed after Manches gets cold feet; and Shoosmiths moots pay cuts for all staff.

In Monday’s issue of The Lawyer: Berwin Leighton Paisner’s clutch of lateral hires on joining the firm; UK and US lawyers look back on the day Lehman Brothers collapsed; and just what has happened to law firm billing in the wake of the recession?