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All of Big Law’s best-known private equity practices have a compelling origin story.

There’s the tale of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s former chairman Richard Beattie, as a 33-year-old associate in the late 1970s, working with the founders of KKR & Co. before they had even started the place. Ropes & Gray chairman R. Bradford Malt’s dealings with Mitt Romney and Bain Capital date back to the mid-1980s. Jack Levin of Kirkland & Ellis reportedly had to ask his first client what a venture capital deal even was in the late 1970s. The Carlyle Group’s Bruce Rosenblum, who joined the buyout giant’s management committee in 2000, is a former executive committee member at Latham & Watkins.

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