Advent drops Lovells after Weil raid

The fallout from Lovells’ loss of private equity star Marco Compagnoni to Weil Gotshal & Manges earlier this year continues, with news that the firm has been dropped from Advent International’s legal panel.

Private equity group Advent recently updated its European legal panel, placing Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Weil on the roster. It is understood that Ashurst and Lovells have been dropped.

Chris Bown, the Advent relationship partner at Freshfields and joint head of its private equity team, told The Lawyer: “We’re delighted that Advent has chosen us for its panel. It’s gratifying that it’s recognised the maturity of our private equity practice.”

Freshfields has already won a big-ticket instruction from Advent, advising the private equity house on its E1.7bn (£1.16bn) acquisition of RWE Solutions Group, a subsidiary of German utilities giant RWE. However, this instruction was received before the panel review. Freshfields’ private equity clients include Apax Partners, Cinven and CVC.

Compagnoni’s departure from Lovells in February, preceded by that of Derek Baird to Allen & Overy, left a big hole in the firm’s private equity capability. Corporate partner Leah Dunlop now heads the private equity team. At Lovells, Compagnoni acted regularly for 3i, the Barclay brothers, HG Capital and Terra Firma, as well as Advent.

Ashurst declined to comment. A Lovells spokesperson said the firm still handles work for Advent in individual countries.