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Lovells is battling to shore up relations with private equity house Doughty Hanson by appointing a Frankfurt partner as the new client relationship partner.
Julie Bradshaw is a private equity partner who relocated to Frankfurt in April last year after the merger with Boesebeck Droste. She will battle to keep hold of the client after the departure of Allan Murray-Jones. Murray-Jones was the client relationship partner for both Doughty Hanson and PPM Ventures before quitting the firm at the start of this year. He plans to join the London office of New York firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in September. Bradshaw will be in charge of running the Doughty Hanson relationship but will not work with the client on a daily basis, as most transactions are run out of London. She said: "I've been involved in Doughty Hanson since they were first a client of the firm, so it makes sense in terms of existing relationships. If we are instructed to do acquisition work in London it will be staffed using London partners my role is one of client management." She said that being based in a different country to the client is not a problem. "It is not an issue. To the extent I'm dealing with them it doesn't really matter where I'm based." Bradshaw added that the client is increasingly looking to the rest of Europe for deals. Last year Lovells advised Doughty Hanson on the high profile £1.1bn purchase of Rank Hovis McDougall. Although Hengeler Mueller partner Max Schiessl has a strong grip on Doughty Hanson in Germany, Bradshaw will be hoping to persuade the private equity house of Lovells' capability on the Continent. Last year, Lovells Boesebeck advised Doughty Hanson on a small euro10m (£6.1m) transaction. Murray-Jones is joining Skadden Arps in May to spearhead a move into private equity (The Lawyer, 14 May). Until now, the London practice has focused on complex cross-border public M&A, but Murray-Jones will launch an attack on the European buyouts market. Both Doughty Hanson and PPM Ventures are known to be considering giving him work at his new firm (The Lawyer, 15 January). Lovells is also ramping up its corporate practice, with the hire of a senior assistant from Clifford Chance. Richard Lewis, who will join as a partner, has experience of transactions including public bids, demergers and listings for corporates and financial institutions. He met the firm through corporate finance partner Marco Compagnoni, who he worked opposite on a transaction one year ago. Lewis is only the second assistant to be recruited by Lovells as a partner.