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Shearman & Sterling's highly-rated head of European acquisition finance Stephen Mostyn-Williams has decided to leave the firm.
Sources say he is considering a number of options, but is believed to be on the verge of joining a private equity fund as a principal.
Mostyn-Williams has been with Shearmans since September 1998, when he joined from Ashurst Morris Crisp where he was head of banking. His departure from Ashursts was dramatic: he originally left in May that year before resurfacing to join Shearmans, accompanied by three banking partners. Adrian Knight, a fifth banking partner from Ashursts, joined the firm the following year (The Lawyer, 17 May 1999).
Mostyn-Williams is widely credited for building up an impressive portfolio of clients during his time at Shearmans.
During the team's first year it was instructed on 14 out of the 15 high-profile European leveraged buyouts (LBOs), and successfully signed 10. These include acting for Deutsche Bank, which backed a consortium that included Nabisco Holdings and Hicks Muse Tate & Furst on the group's £1.26bn bid for United Biscuits.
The team also acted for senior debt provider Warburg Dillon Read and for mezzanine and high-yield bond provider Lehman Brothers on the LBO of paper and packaging company Clondalkin Group last year.
Both Mostyn-Williams and Shearmans were unavailable for comment.