Global law firm White & Case LLP has reinforced its cross-border English law M&A and corporate finance capabilities with the addition of partner Gavin Weir in London. Gavin will join from Simmons & Simmons, where he has been a partner for almost five years and is the leader of its London private M&A group. He is the fourth major hire at White & Case in London announced in the last four weeks, following the announcement of the arrivals of senior English-qualified acquisition and bank finance partners Jacqueline Evans and Lee Cullinane, from Mayer Brown and experienced M&A partner, David Crook, from Freshfields.
Gavin advises on international and domestic M&A, public and private takeovers, auctions, reorganisations, corporate governance, IPOs and other equity capital markets transactions. He has particular experience in the financial institutions, life sciences and infrastructure sectors, where he has advised a number of clients on IPOs, mergers, acquisitions, fundraisings and joint ventures. His clients include listed and private corporates, investment banks, financial advisers and sponsors.
"We already have a strong base of English law M&A capability in London, but we intend to continue building it, both organically and through targeted hires like Gavin, to meet the long-term growth in demand as more and more international transactions are executed under English law," said Francois Leloup, Regional Section Head, WEMEA M&A/Corporate.
Major M&A transactions that White & Case's London-based team advised on in 2010 include: acting for Acergy S.A. on its combination with Subsea 7 Inc, to create a global leader in seabed-to-surface engineering and construction with a market capitalisation of US$5.4 billion; advising Qatar Real Estate Investment Company ("Alaqaria") in connection with Barwa Real Estate Company's tender offer to acquire all of the shares of Alaqaria in exchange for shares in Barwa, in a deal valued at approximately US$3 billion; advising Unimilk shareholder Meridian Capital on the merger with the Russian arm of Danone of their respective dairy businesses in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus, creating a business with annual sales of €1.5 billion; and providing counsel to TNK-BP, Russia's third largest oil company, on its US$1.8 billion acquisition of BP's upstream and pipeline assets in Vietnam and Venezuela.
"We are building on the strong platform we have established in London, and hires of the quality of Gavin, David, Lee and Jacqui, are testament to the investment we are making in the business for our clients," added Oliver Brettle, London Executive Partner.
White & Case has been in London for 40 years this year and its City of London office is its second largest, with more than 340 legal staff. The Firm has more than 400 lawyers in its global M&A practice, with over 60 based in its London Corporate practice.
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