Educated: Queen’s College, Cambridge
Key clients: Permira, PPM Capital
Clifford Chance’s rapport with Permira is well publicised, with partner Matthew Layton heading the client relationship team at the magic circle firm. Less well known is the fact that three other partners, including Simon Cooke, make up the private equity house’s point-people at the firm. At any one time, the cohort (the other members are Mario Schmidt in Frankfurt and Jonny Myers in London) works on three to four active mandates for Permira, which the magic circle firm has represented for more than 20 years, since its beginnings as Schroder Ventures.
Cooke is the newest member of the team, making partner this year. Already this summer he worked on the high-profile E1.7bn (£1.16bn) bid for Unilever’s frozen foods division and led on the buyout of All3Media from Bridgepoint Capital for E468m (£318.9m). “He has the strong project management skills and good commercial judgement that private equity houses demand,” says Layton.