US firms cash in on their head start in acquisition finance

A quick scan of The Lawyer’s finance coverage over the past year or so serves to flag up a couple of key trends when it comes to deal-making. One is the migration of some of the magic circle’s top private equity talent to US firms.


Over the past year or so, this has included the likes of Linklaters’ private equity big-shots Richard Youle and Ian Bagshaw to White & Case, and Clifford Chance trio David Walker, Tom Evans and Kem Ihenacho to Latham & Watkins.

And its not just the headline partner moves that are cause for concern. UK firms have found themselves left on the sidelines on a number of debt finance deals in recent month.

It’s partly down to client demand. Businesses are seeking out those firms who can provide them with the biggest range of options and can safely navigate them through a leveraged finance deal, whether it ultimately involves a European bank loan, a so-called Yankee loan, a high yield bond, or an innovative hybrid of the whole bunch.

So far, it looks as if US firms have done a stellar job of convincing the market that they’re a shoo-in for that sort of job.

Check out this week’s data-led feature for more on why the magic circle firms face an uphill challenge in the world of acquisition finance.

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