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The long and the short of it is that Clifford Chance has a vendetta against partners whose surnames end with ‘-er’. There’s no other way to explain the gradual exodus of the likes of private equity rainmakers Jason Glover, Ed Gander and now, as The Lawyer revealed last night, David Walker.
Funds partners Glover and Gander, who both headed their practice at the time of their respective resignations in 2010 and 2011, exited to join US firms, and current global private equity chief Walker has just quit for the London office of Latham & Watkins.
Aside from a dislike of the schwa sound in final position, there must be a concrete reason why the Canary Wharf firm is suffering the slow migration of many of its leading private equity figures to American rivals. The allure of the US dollar? The ability to service stateside buyout clients such as KKR or, in Walker’s case Carlyle, on a global basis?
Add KKR adviser Adam Signy to the list, plus the funds and tax team that left with Gander, and you get a serious line of revenue-earners exiting stage left.
The UK legal profession’s (once) market-leading large-cap private equity shop has a serious dilemma on its hands.
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