Hogan Lovells continues London push as Whelan named private equity co-head

Hogan Lovells has named corporate partner Tom Whelan as the co-head of its global private equity group, taking over the reins from Alan Greenough who will retire next year.

Whelan and Greenough both joined legacy Lovells after Weil Gotshal & Manges launched an assault on the UK private equity market, with the trophy hire of its private equity head Marco Compagnoni and his team in 2006 (2 February 2006). Greenough left White & Case to succeed Compagnoni, while Whelan joined from DLA Piper some months later (14 August 2006).

The firm has since been rebuilding its private equity practice, with Whelan’s promotion following the notable hire of SJ Berwin private equity partner Ed Harris, who will report to Whelan, a few months ago (22 October 2013).

Whelan started his career at Ashurst in 1991 before moving to DLA Piper as a partner in 2002. He counts 3i and Blackstone as clients, having previously advised the latter on its £750m sale of the Savoy Group.

The appointment of Whelan comes as the firm looks to grow its London base significantly. Recent London hires have included Herbert Smith Freehills environmental partner Louise Moore (5 November 2013) and Field Fisher Waterhouse’s (FFW) privacy and information group head Eduardo Ustaran (10 October 2013) as head of the firm’s European privacy and information practice. The latter is currently locked into an 18-month notice period which will keep him at FFW until May 2015. 

Sources said Hogan Lovells was looking to recruit further at associate level for the European privacy and information practice, meaning Ustaran could be joining a much bigger team by the time he takes on the role in 2015. 

In a previous interview with The Lawyer Whelan said the toughest thing about his job was the hours, if he wasn’t a lawyer he would have been a doctor and his favourite children’s book was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (14 April 2008).

Whelan will take on his new role on 1 January and share the position with current co-head Jeffrey Hurlburt. Greenough will retire from the position.