It looks like the private equity market could be nearing the end of its enforced period of inactivity, and who better to lead the march into the new era than one of the City’s most respected deal doers?
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.
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?