Clifford Chance’s Carlyle question

The sun was certainly shining on Clifford Chance’s corporate practice last week, as the firm retained trophy private equity client the Carlyle Group.

No doubt there were sighs of relief at Canary Wharf. The firm’s relationship with one of its key clients did, after all, look a little hit and miss for a while following the exit of its third private equity partner with close ties to the group last month.

Kem Ihenacho jumped ship to Latham & Watkins, following in the footsteps of David Walker and Tom Evans who both made the same move last year. Carlyle gifted Walker his first deal for the client at his new stomping ground last July, when he led on its acquisition of global packaging supplier Chesapeake.

However, Clifford Chance’s Hong Kong office came up trumps this time round, being instructed by Carlyle of its $1.93bn buyout of Tyco International’s South Korean fire protection and security unit.

The firm advised alongside Korean counsel Lee & Ko, and opposite Simpson Thacher and Kim & Chang who represented the target.

Clifford Chance now needs to make sure its ties to Carlyle in the City have the same sticking power as those further east.

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