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Apax Partners has restarted a stalled plan to form a legal panel for £100m-plus buyouts undertaken by the leveraged transaction group.
The review looks set to hand Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer a victory in its attempts to hike private equity and could drop many of the existing legal advisers.
Apax created a two-firm panel of accountants last year, with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as primary adviser and Ernst & Young as second string adviser. It has used numerous legal advisers recently, so if a two-firm system is adopted many will inevitably be disappointed.
Freshfields is understood to have a shot at the top role, thanks in part to a strong relationship between Apax and Bruckhaus, which will be key in cross-border deals.