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Slaughter and May has scooped work advising US private equity house Telegraph Hill on its moves into Europe.
Partner Jeff Twentyman was invited to a beauty parade by the client and has now started work advising it on its establishment in the UK. Telegraph Hill is a technology and telecoms-focused private equity investor, which was established at the beginning of this year as a result of the merger between JP Morgan and Chase Manhattan. Based in San Francisco, it used to be part of JP Morgan Capital Partners. Twentyman had met Telegraph Hill principal Martin O'Neill during the auctions for third-generation (3G) mobile phone licences last year. Twentyman said: "It's yet to raise the funds for its first fund, so it's not yet made any new investments. We've been helping it on the UK side of the establishment of its business over here." Twentyman said that he did not know which other firms had competed for the work, and O'Neill was unavailable for comment. Twentyman said: "It was quite a long, drawn-out process so they must have seen a handful." Since Slaughters started targeting private equity work over the past two years, its burgeoning private equity practice has developed enormously. Clients that the practice has worked with include Schroder Ventures, Duke Street Capital and Blackstone Capital Partners. The firm has also advised a number of West Coast houses; much of the work has come through referrals from its US best friend Davis Polk & Wardwell. A host of Slaughters partners have been targeting the work. Twentyman is part of the new technology, media and telecoms practice at the firm; other partners working with private equity clients include Richard de Carle, Simon Phillips, Mark Horton, Andy Ride, Richard Levitt and senior partner Tim Clark. Twentyman said: "Over the course of the last 12-18 months, there's been exponential growth in the amount of private equity work we're doing. We're very pleased with the progress we've made to date, and we continue to work hard on it. Slaughters' success in this area contrasts with that of Linklaters & Alliance, which has been seeking a foothold in the private equity sector for over 18 months, but with no tangible results as yet.