Linklaters star private equity duo quit for White & Case after management showdown

Linklaters private equity partners Richard Youle and Ian Bagshaw have resigned from Linklaters to join the London office of White & Case.

Richard Youle
Richard Youle

The pair’s resignation will be announced internally today (17 October) following several weeks of negotiations with the magic circle firm’s management. It is understood that the management had issued an ultimatum to the pair to declare their loyalty publicly after it became known that they had been talking to US firms about the possibility of joining.

In 2010 Youle and Bagshaw were on the verge of resigning to join Ropes & Gray, but were persuaded to stay by Linklaters’ leadership. The duo were recently in negotiations with Fried Frank but decided to accept an offer from White & Case to build a London-based private equity practice.

The friction between the two private equity partners and the firm’s banking practice has been an open secret for several years, revolving around the banking department’s perceived reluctance to build a sponsor-side finance practice. However, sources at Linklaters argue that the firm has been targeting alternative finance providers with some success.

Youle and Bagshaw are recognised internally and externally to have jointly built a standout corporate practice at Linklaters and have consistently been the target of headhunters because of the inherent portability of private equity business.

A source close to Linklaters told The Lawyer: ”On a personal level, people are sad to see them go. But there’s an air of inevitability about this.”

Bagshaw is close to Carlyle, having won the mandate to advise the PE house on its £450m acquisition of Integrated Dental Holdings (IDH) from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BoAML) (31 January 2011) and is the firm’s relationship partner for Macquarie. He left Clifford Chance to join Linklaters six years ago (1 February 2007).

Ian Bagshaw
Ian Bagshaw

Youle joined Linklaters as an associate in 2001 and was part of the Graham White and Raymond McKeeve team that joined the firm from SJ Berwin. He was made up to partner following the pair’s defection to Kirkland & Ellis (24 March 2006). Youle acts for a slew of midmarket private equity houses and has been particularly close to HG Capital (22 August 2012), Montagu Private Equity and Hermes.