Simpson Thacher bolsters Apax links with CC funds associate hire

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has snared a key Clifford Chance funds senior associate with close ties to private equity houses Apax Partners and BC Partners.

Seema Shah joined the US firm last week after spending a period on secondment to Apax during its Apax VIII fundraising, which reached first close in March 2012.

She was also the lead associate on Clifford Chance’s mandate from BC Partners during its bid to amass $8.6bn for its BC European Capital IX vehicle, which hit final close last year after partner Nick Benson – acting alongside Simpson Thacher partner Jason Glover – had joined Weil Gotshal & Manges (23 February 2012).

The two clients are key to the magic circle’s funds practice, with partner Ed Gander leading for Apax on its fundraising before quitting to join Weil in 2011, while Benson was at the helm for BC Partners. The remaining work on Apax’s fund VIII was split between Clifford Chance practice chief Nigel Hatfield and Simpson Thacher’s Glover when Gander exited.

Gander was one of a four-partner team who joined Weil from Clifford Chance in late 2011, with six associates and a tax associate later joining them, including former Apax secondee Stephen Fox (31 October 2011). One funds associate also followed the exodus soon after by moving to Simpson Thacher, resulting in the team being cut by more than a third within three months of the partner quartet’s resignation (26 March 2012).

Shah becomes Simpson Thacher’s 13th City funds associate in addition to partners Glover and Gareth Earl, both of whom were previously at Clifford Chance.