Morgan Lewis & Bockius has hired partner Tom Cartwright from Taylor Wessing to launch its dedicated private equity practice in London.
The firm’s City office currently houses two corporate partners who work on private equity matters, but Cartwright’s hire marks the first aimed specifically at building out a distinct group geared towards the practice.
Christopher Harrison, co-managing partner of Morgan Lewis’ London base, said that while the office already has corporate and fund formation capability, it recently identified “a gap for a private equity practitioner”.
He continued: “We have a number of good private equity clients in the US who do international work, but we don’t have any dedicated private equity partners in London who can help join up the practice.”
The office will “continue to grow the critical mass” of its private equity offering and is expecting to make further partner hires in coming months.
Cartwright, who is a specialist in M&A, leveraged buy-outs and venture capital, joined Taylor Wessing from Hammonds in 2007. His clients include private equity and hedge funds based in London and New York, as well as family offices in the Middle East and London.
Morgan Lewis is hoping to utilise Cartwright’s connections in the Middle East, which it said fits well with the opening of the firm’s newest office in Dubai. The outpost was opened last July, after raiding a three-partner team from US rival Vinson & Elkins (2 July 2013).
Cartwright noted: “I had a great role at Taylor Wessing but this is a very exciting opportunity to help build out Morgan Lewis’ team in London.”
The firm hired William Yonge, a funds partner from Simmons & Simmons, in March 2012. Yonge completes the firm’s City private equity offering, alongside Cartwright and fund formation partner Noel Ainsworth.