Clifford Chance taps Macfarlanes for rare corporate partner hire

Veteran Macfarlanes partner Tim Lewis has left the firm to join Clifford Chance’s global corporate practice.

Tim Lewis
Tim Lewis

Lewis has been with Macfarlanes’ M&A group since joining the firm in 1985, making partner nine years later. During his tenure he has specialised in public and private M&A and equity capital markets.

Clifford Chance’s global head of corporate Matthew Layton said: “Tim has a great reputation in the London market and a strong track record for developing long-term client relationships with UK and international corporate clients, as well as a strong reputation with senior investment banks.

“He’s an excellent fit in terms of our culture and in terms of how he wants to develop his personal practice, particularly the international element.”

Layton added that the the firm would continue to focus on its strategy of attracting major corporate clients both globally and domestically.

Macfarlanes senior partner Charles Martin said he understood Lewis’ decision to leave the firm for a “fresh challenge”, adding that “Clifford Chance operates on a very different model and footprint to us”.

He added: “It’s sad to see Tim go but we have a very deep M&A team with 17 partners. Clifford Chance has a very different strategy to ours and Tim has gone for a different challenge.

“Our M&A focus is on doing complex work for clients who appreciate a more concentrated team that is very partner focused, and we’re competing for high-end M&A work with leading firms around the world.”

Martin said the firm is not considering bringing anyone in to replace Lewis, adding: “We have some outstanding talent, particularly among our associates, and don’t see a gap that needs to be filled.”

In May 2009 Clifford Chance was hit by the departure of leading corporate partner Adam Signy to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (5 May 2009).

Earlier this year Clifford Chance lost out to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett on private equity house Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ (KKR) buyout of Pets at Home after Signy picked up the mandate to give M&A advice (27 January 2010).

In the UK KKR had traditionally turned to Clifford Chance for advice on company M&A matters, with longstanding US counsel Simpson Thacher handling the financing side of deals.