Former Goodwin Procter partner duo Sarah Priestley and Mark Soundy have formed their own boutique after their departures from the firm late last year.
The duo have set up the new outfit, PriestleySoundy, after having worked together for 15 years over stints at Goodwin, Shearman & Sterling and Weil Gotshal & Manges.
The new firm will focus purely on private equity—in particular, advising senior management teams for private equity portfolio companies, on which the two developed a specialty acting for management at companies including Travelex, Waterstones and ITV.
At PriestleySoundy, the duo will shift away from large PE funds to focus more on advising senior figures at debut funds, also known as spin-out funds.
Via her LinkedIn page, Priestley said: “We are deal ‘doers’ and not deal ‘breakers’ and I believe we have a reputation for being reasonable and good to work with. I do not believe there is any other law firm in London or the U.K. which specializes almost entirely in advising C-suite teams, or a partnership which has so many years’ experience between them advising management.
“Clients will get Mark and I, with all our experience, to advise them—we will not disappear after the first meeting and reappear to drink the champagne at closing. There are no chargeable-hour targets—so we can genuinely offer alternative billing and fee solutions—nor will we be trying to force-feed other services to our clients.”
Before their two-year spell at Goodwin, Soundy was co-head of Shearman’s global private equity practice and Priestley was head of tax. They both moved to Shearman in 2013 from Weil, where Priestley had spent more than 15 years.
At Goodwin the pair worked on several deals together, including advising the management of Thomson Reuters’ financial terminals and date business on its $20 billion sale to Blackstone late last year.
Previously, they worked together on Bridgepoint Capital’s $283 million sale of Leeds Bradford Airport in 2017. Soundy acted opposite Goodwin the previous year when he was still at Shearman, on the $386 million sale of Tyrrells Crisps to Amplify Snack Brands.