Shearman hires Weil trio in boost for London private equity

Shearman & Sterling has hired a three-strong private equity team in London from Weil Gotshal & Manges including high-profile partner Mark Soundy.

Mark Soundy
Mark Soundy

Soundy joins the US rival’s City base along with corporate tax partner Sarah Priestley, while private equity associate Simon Burrows is also leaving Weil to become a partner at Shearman.

Soundy moved to Weil in 2004 from Travers Smith Braithwaite (now Travers Smith) (31 August 2004) and was later joined by Lovells’ Marco Compagnoni and Jonathan Wood (2 February 2006).

His focus is on work for management on private equity deals, with historic clients also including Apax Partners.

Priestley joined Weil from Allen & Overy and featured in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 in 2009.

The move is effectively a London practice launch for Shearman, which currently only carries out a small amount of private equity work in the City through corporate partner Jeremy Kutner.

Shearman EMEA managing partner Nick Buckworth said the move was a continuation of his firm’s strategy for growth across its global platform’s core areas.

“Globally we’ve got a very significant private equity business but in London we didn’t have a recognised private equity partner to consolidate areas such as high yield, bank finance and M&A,” said Buckworth. “This is like dropping a piece into the puzzle.”

Shearman started voting on the team hire last Thursday (9 May). The move is the second significant private equity hire in the City in the past month after Latham & Watkinspicked up Clifford Chance practice head David Walker (8 April 2013).

Weil was not available for comment.