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Clifford Chance private equity partner Tom Evans is leaving the firm to join Latham & Watkins’ corporate practice.
Evans’ departure to Latham follows that of former Clifford Chance global private equity head David Walker, who made the same move just six months ago (8 April 2013).
Evans only became a partner at the magic circle firm this year, but has been widely tipped as one to watch thanks to his work on matters for Permira and IK Investment Partners (formerly Industri Kapital) (29 April 2013).
Latham’s London office managing partner Nick Cline said that Evans is “widely regarded as a rising star”. He added that the new recruit “has a broad range of experience that will make him an excellent addition to the firm and particularly our private equity practice”.
“While we have seen improvements in liquidity in European leveraged finance bank lending, accessing the high yield and US bank finance markets is increasingly attractive for European private equity deals,” continued Cline.
Walker’s departure earlier this year dealt a blow to Clifford Chance’s private equity practice. It is thought that he led roughly two deals a year in total for clients such as Carlyle and Equistone Partners Europe while at the magic circle firm. In July, Walker led on a deal for Carlyle for the first time since his high-profile move, advising on the private equity house’s acquisition of pharmaceuticals and packaging client Chesapeake from Irving Place Capital and Oaktree Capital (8 July 2013).
Other Latham private equity clients include Advent International, BC Partners, KKR, Charterhouse, Nordic Capital and PAI Partners.
Since 2009, Clifford Chance also lost private equity partners Adam Signy (5 May 2009) and Jason Glover (20 July 2010), who both joined US outfit Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett.
Latham’s latest partner hire is its fourth since May, wth other recent laterals including Norton Rose Fulbright banking partner Dean Naumowicz (19 June 2013) and Herbert Smith Freehills’ co-chair of corporate fraud Simon Bushell (7 Februrary 2013). The office is now home to 250 lawyers, including 60 partners.