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Weil Gotshal & Manges’ new City funds team may have to start life without star associate Stephen Fox if the Clifford Chance hire does not return from a secondment at Apax Partners.
Fox was widely tipped for partnership at the magic circle firm, but followed a team of three funds partners and a tax partner to Weil as part of its London funds launch.
Fox was initially at Apax in a compliance role last year before it hired Goldman Sachs lawyer Simon Cresswell as its first general counsel in December.
Fox returned this year and, although he officially left Clifford Chance in the past week, he is on secondment to Apax until November. It is understood that Weil and Apax will then have to decide whether to take him on or allow Apax to keep him, depending on how busy Weil’s funds team is.
A source close to the firm said: “Stephen’s on secondment to Apax and will continue to be so. I expect [whether he stays] will be influenced by how well [Weil’s] fund formation [launch] goes. He may well go back in November.”
Cresswell said Fox was on secondment at the company but declined to comment further. Weil London managing partner Mike Francies declined to comment.
The company is currently raising money for the Apax VIII fund, which Clifford Chance was sole adviser on until the defections of Ed Gander, Nigel Clark, Nick Benson and Jonathan Kandel. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett later secured a role alongside Clifford Chance.