Linklaters loses global PE head to Kirkland & Ellis

Linklaters partner Charlie Jacobs will take responsibility for the firm’s London private equity practice following the departure of global private equity head Graham White and partner Raymond McKeeve.

International law firm Linklaters has lost global head of private equity Graham White and partner Raymond McKeeve to US-based rival Kirkland & Ellis.

A spokesperson for Linklaters confirmed that White and McKeeve have resigned from the firm but said that no departure date has yet been set. Both men will join the London office of Kirkland & Ellis.

White: moving to Kirkland & Ellis

Linklaters said in a statement: “While we are sorry to see Graham and Raymond go, we remain fully committed to our private equity practice and our service to clients will remain unaffected.”

Charlie Jacobs, an M&A partner at Linklaters, will take responsibility for the London team, which includes fellow partners Carlton Evans, Stephen Blackshaw, Dominic Welham, Aedamar Comiskey and Richard Youle.

White and McKeeve both previously worked at Dickson Minto’s London office until 1999 when they joined SJ Berwin. The two then moved to Linklaters in 2001.

At Linklaters, White’s recent deals include: CVC Capital Partners’ acquisition and subsequent disposal of car parts retailer Kwik Fit to Paris-based investment house PAI Partners for £800 million (€1.15 billion; $1.4 billion) in June 2005; and Apax Partners’ €951 million ($1.14 billion) purchase of surgical and wound care products manufacturer Molnlycke Healthcare from Nordic Capital in April 2005.

White’s other private equity clients at Linklaters included JP Morgan, TDR Capital and CVC Capital Partners.

McKeeve’s recent private equity work for Linklaters included representing Apax Partners, Barclays Capital and R20 – an investment vehicle owned by property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz – in the £1.1 billion acquisition of supermarket chain Somerfield late last year. He also represented UK private equity house Aletheia Partners and Austrian investment firm Hardt Group in the €600 million purchase of German cable TV company EWT.

McKeeve has also acted on behalf of private equity firms Montagu Private Equity and Permira for Linklaters.

In addition to London, Kirkland & Ellis has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.