Clifford Chance funds team to depart for Weil Gotshal

Most of the law firm’s London-based fund formation practice is planning to leave for Weil Gotshal & Manges, leaving one partner to lead the practice as the firm works to re-build the team through internal promotions.

Clifford Chance is losing the majority of its London fund formation practice to Weil Gotshal & Manges as Edward Gander, Nick Benson, Nigel Clark and Jonathan Kandel have resigned.

However, Clifford Chance is not exiting the funds business in London, according to Simon Tinkler, partner and head of the corporate practice. The firm is planning to maintain its funds practice in London and will replace the departing team with internal promotions and lateral moves.

The remaining partner, Nigel Hatfield, has replaced Gander as head of the practice, said Tinkler.

Last year, Gander replaced Jason Glover as head of the practice after Glover left to start a UK practice for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Glover spent 12 years at Clifford Chance.

Meanwhile, Weil Gotshal has been looking to complement its US funds practice in Europe for some time, said Michael Francies, a managing director at Weil Gotshal.

“We believe that the arrival of this new team will enable us not only to build the leading global fund formation team to serve our international client base by providing European, US and Asian advice, but also to integrate this with our leading private equity transaction team to create something quite unique,” said Francies.

The Clifford Chance team is negotiating its start date with senior management, according to a person with knowledge of the impending move.

“It could be as long as six months to make sure it’s a smooth transition,” said the source.