Jones Day seduces McKeeve

US firms are proving to be London’s legal Lothario. Whichever big name is on the market, these lot are first to the bar with their seductive salaries and Wall Street swagger.

So should it come as a surprise to finally discover where Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP) global private equity head Raymond McKeeve was heading? After months of speculation, it was US firm Jones Day that won his heart.

This is not the first time McKeeve has fallen for an American. The former Linklaters partner first jumped ship for Kirkland & Ellis where he worked until 2008, when he departed to pursue a career as an investment professional with property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz before joining BLP a year later. Widely regarded as a leading private equity rainmaker, sources told The Lawyer McKeeve had been in talks with at least one other firm in London. Many are now asking if any other partners will head over with him.

It isn’t quite clear who tried to pull whom first. For Jones Day, one of the major attractions is that McKeeve’s practice covers both UK and international markets, including MENA and sub-Saharan Africa. In a statement on the hire, Jones Day’s UK private equity head Adam Greaves said an increasing number of private equity firms are looking beyond the traditional markets to emerging economies.

One thing Jones Day is not short of is an international office network. Now it’s a bit less light on private equity capability too.

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