• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Latham continues Clifford Chance raid with hire of private equity chief Felsenstein

Latham continues Clifford Chance raid with hire of private equity chief Felsenstein

Latham & Watkins has turned to Clifford Chance in Germany for two of its key corporate partners, Oliver Felsenstein and Burc Hesse.

Felsenstein became the sole head of the firm’s private equity group in June 2013 (21 June 2013), following Latham’s hire of London-based private equity chief David Walker earlier that year (8 April 2013).

Last year Clifford Chance split the private equity chief role between Felsenstein and City-based partner Jonny Myers (18 July 2014).

In September, Felsenstein was also named as head of Clifford Chance’s corporate group in Germany – becoming part of the firm’s new German leadership group.

Felsenstein has been a partner at Clifford Chance’s Frankfurt office since 2006, advising clients including HgCapital and Permira. Prior to that he held the post of deputy managing partner and private equity chief at legacy Lovells.

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The partner will be joined at Latham by Clifford Chance corporate and private equity partner Burc Hesse, currently based in Munich. Hesse also joined Clifford Chance from Lovells in 2006, as part of the firm’s swoop on a five-strong private equity team from the firm (26 September 2005).

The appointments continue Latham’s hiring spree of key corporate partners from Clifford Chance. As well as Walker, Latham also hired up-and-coming private equity partners Tom Evans and Kem Ihenacho (18 February 2014).

The moves were understood to be part of the firm’s project to bulk up its offering for key US client Carlyle Group in London, of which Walker and Ihenacho were key advisers.

Latham’s global corporate chair Daniel Lennon said in a statement that the firm was committed to building “the undisputed market leading practice in private equity in Europe and globally”.

In an interview with The Lawyer last October (23 October 2014) Felsenstein said: “Of course, if we lose a partner it does concern us – some partners more, and some partners less. But for us, it’s ongoing business as usual. It’s important that we keep our client relationships, as we have in all the cases of the partners who have left in the last few years and it’s also a chance for younger partners to step into their role.

“Our firm is bigger than any individual,” he added. “It’s not about David Walker, it’s about Clifford Chance.”