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Linklaters & Alliance is poised to hire a highly-rated partner from SJ Berwin to spearhead a move into the private equity market.
Buyouts partner Graham White is understood to have told his partners he plans to move to Linklaters, although the details are yet to be finalised. White joined SJ Berwin nearly three years ago from corporate finance boutique Dickson Minto. He is an integral part of the firm's transactional private equity team, and his departure will leave partner Steven Davis to continue the firm's efforts in that area. White's clients include private equity houses Candover, which he advised last year on the firm's £210m MBO of First Leisure's bar chain, and Phoenix Equity Partners, which White advised on its buyout from Credit Suisse First Boston. Linklaters has long been committed to building up its profile in private equity work. Although the firm would not comment on White's appointment, head of corporate David Cheyne said: "We have been quite open about the fact that we were seeking to build our private equity practice."