Linklaters star leaves private equity problems behind

Michel Frieh’s impending departure from Linklaters‘ private equity practice in Paris raises a familiar spectre for the magic circle firm.

Frieh was brought in from private equity heavyweight Willkie Farr & Gallagher in 2003 to replace David Aknin, who had quit for Weil Gotshal & Manges. Frieh is now fed up with big-time M&A and is launching his own boutique. See story

Linklaters had a similar problem in London last year when Graham White left for Kirkland & Ellis. White’s departure left Charlie Jacobs to pick up the private equity baton, which he has done with some style. He has closed a string of deals and recently recruited Ian Bagshaw from Clifford Chance to boost the team.

The firm will need a French Charlie to repeat the trick in Paris.