Macfarlanes boosts hedge funds offering with Akin Gump hire

Macfarlanes has continued to invest in its funds group with the hire of Akin Gump partner Simon Thomas, who joins the firm just over a year after Macfarlanes took a nine-strong funds team from West End boutique D Harris & Co International (DHCI).

Simon Thomas
Simon Thomas

Alternative funds lawyer Simon Thomas joins the firm’s investment funds group from the London office of Akin Gump, which he joined from US rival Dechert in 2002.

The hire comes just over a year after the entire staff of West End hedge fund boutique DHCI transfered to Macfarlanes, including the firm’s founder and former Goldman Sachs lawyer Daniel Harris (16 January 2012).

That move followed the exit of Macfarlanes funds partner Stephen Sims, who left the firm to launch Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom’s London funds practice the previous year (21 September 2011).

Macfarlanes senior partner Charles Martin said in a statement that there was a “clear market demand” for the firm to expand its expertise in the hedge-fund-formation area.

“Increasing regulatory pressure globally means that this is an area that has strategic importance for the alternative asset area and the financial services industry more widely,” he said.

Macfarlanes posted an 8 per cent increase in turnover and a 20 per cent hike in average profit per equity partner (PEP) for the 2011/12 financial year, with fee income exceeding £100m for the first time since 2008.

Last year also saw the firm bring five associates into its partnership in a round that included its first corporate promotion for five years (21 March 2012).