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Linklaters has secured its first significant private equity deal after a yearlong campaign to become involved in the sector. The deal was for Clifford Chance client CVC Capital Partners
CVC instructed former SJ Berwin partner Graham White, who was brought in last autumn to spearhead Linklaters' drive into private equity. Last Monday (12 August) CVC announced its intention to acquire Kwik-Fit from Ford, advised by Wragge & Co. Although White has had several significant instructions since he arrived at Linklaters, the Kwik-Fit buyout is the first major transaction to go public. Originally a Dickson Minto lawyer, White joined SJ Berwin with a team of three assistants in 1998. When he moved to Linklaters, White took his team and contacts from both SJ Berwin and Dickson Minto. While he was at SJ Berwin, White and his team worked opposite CVC on the £326m Collins Stewart management buyout. White advised the management and went on to act on the initial public offering. It is understood that CVC also sent him a major instruction in the autumn, but the deal failed to get off the ground. Linklaters corporate partner Tom Weathered, who was involved with the recruitment of White, said: "This is a tremendous achievement for our growing private equity practice." On the possibility of future instructions, he added: "We're hoping to make headway with CVC and other clients."