The champagne's still flowing

In these straitened times, it's encouraging to hear that some private equity professionals are able to mix in glamorous circles. A team at law firm Taylor Wessing, headed by London-based private equity partner Russell Van Praagh, has been doing just that by advising Brawn GP, the newest addition to the flashy world of Formula 1 motor racing.

Brawn GP was spun out from the Honda team, which blamed the global financial crisis for its decision to withdraw from Formula 1. Led by team principal and former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn, Brawn GP will have two cars on the grid during 2009 – one driven by Brit Jenson Button and the other by Brazilian Rubens Barrichello. At the time of writing, the first Grand Prix of the season in Melbourne, Australia was just over a week away.

A statement made clear that Taylor Wessing's mandate was not the easiest: “The negotiations involved balancing numerous, often conflicting, financial and legal interests in a tight and challenging timeframe and amidst intense and sustained media speculation and scrutiny.”

For reasons of prestige and fee income, you suspect the firm's competitors wouldn't have minded a little of that pressure themselves.