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In late 2013, following courtships with US firms including Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Ashurst corporate star Stephen Lloyd joined Allen & Overy (A&O) to co-head its global private equity practice.

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Rose Walker

Rose joined Legal Week in 2015 and was appointed news editor in 2019. She covers a variety of UK and international law firms.

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Law Firms Mentioned

<a href="http://www.almcms.com/contrib

  • Ashurst
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Simpson Thacher Bartlett

/uploads/sites/378/2017/05/Lloyd_Stephen-Article-201705180925.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-60403" src="http://www.almcms.com/contrib

  • Ashurst
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Simpson Thacher Bartlett

/uploads/sites/378/2017/05/Lloyd_Stephen-Article-201705180925.jpg" alt="" width="616" height="372" /></a> In late 2013, following courtships with US firms including Simpson Thacher &amp; Bartlett, Ashurst corporate star Stephen Lloyd <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2013/12/11/ao-partners-vote-through-hire-of-ex-ashurst-corporate-head-lloyd/">joined Allen &amp; Overy (A&amp;O)</a> to co-head its global private equity practice. Lloyd���s hire, and the subsequent arrival of then junior private equity partner Karan Dinamani from Ashurst <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2014/03/04/ashurst-private-equity-partner-rejoins-stephen-lloyd-at-ao/">six months later</a>, plugged a gap in A&amp;O���s private equity offering that had lingered since the departure of��former��global practice co-head Derek Baird <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2012/11/08/simpson-thacher-recruits-ao-private-equity-co-head-for-city-base/">to Simpson Thacher in 2012</a>. So, nearly four years on, how is the practice performing under the leadership of Lloyd and fellow co-head Robin Harvey? Since Lloyd joined, the City corporate private equity team has grown by three partners and about 10 associates, and now houses some five partners and 15 associates. While there are no current plans to��increase��the size of the team in London, further headcount growth in Europe is on the horizon, with A&amp;O looking��to grow the practice significantly in Germany, with��hires in France and Spain also on the agenda. According to Lloyd, the City team brought in almost ��20m of A&amp;Os record ��1.52bn turnover in 2015-16, with partners suggesting Lloyd himself was responsible for some ��8.5m of this. One private equity partner at a US firm in London comments: ���Derek Baird was a loss for them, as he was pretty impressive, but they���ve rebuilt well. We���ve seen them across on bids that the PE guys have clearly brought in, and I hear good things about Lloyd.��� Client-wise, the A&amp;O team��has relationships with a wide range of European, US and Canadian buyout��houses, including PAI, 3i, Apax Partners, Carlyle, Blackstone, Omers, AimCo, Exponent, Charterhouse, Apollo and HIG Capital. Of these, many are names that Lloyd worked with during his time at Ashurst, such as Apax and 3i. Others, such as PAI, represent houses that previously primarily worked with A&amp;O on the lending side but have now extended their relationship to the buyout team. Some market peers speculate that A&amp;O���s stellar banking credentials have hindered its private equity teams ability to build relationships with buyout houses. One PE partner at a US firm says: "There��has always been a bit of a dilemma about whether the firm wants to focus on banking or corporate, and I feel the PE practice has been a bit squashed by that tension.��� A Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner agrees, adding: ���I imagine the firm might be concerned any sponsor business would cut across its banking work. I still don���t think they���re really a major player.��� Lloyd, however, disputes this stance. He argues that fellow co-head Harveys practice advising sponsors and their portfolio companies on the acquisition finance side of private equity transactions is helping build relationships. He says: ���I���d known Robin for a very long time [before I joined] and I trusted we would work together well. Nowadays we track down clients together, and that works very harmoniously.��� Dinamani cites PAI as a good example of a client with which a relationship has deepened through the acquisition finance side. ���Robin has historically done almost all of PAI���s debt financing work and they���ve since used us on the corporate side of things.��� Last year, Harvey and Lloyd co-led the A&amp;O team advising PAI on its joint venture with Nestle to form a new ice cream company, while earlier this year��Lloyd and Dinamani��advised on <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/05/18/magic-circle-firms-lead-on-700m-apax-acquisition/">Apax���s ��700m acquisition</a> of surface treatment and chemical application provider Safetykleen Europe from private equity fund Warburg Pincus. Lloyd now wants to focus on building deeper relationships with select clients such as CVC for mid-to-large buyouts. He says: ���There are certain funds such as CVC that we have a strong relationship with in continental Europe, but less so in London, and we want to improve that. It���s about making yourself more visible to clients.��� He adds that opportunities with US houses are also improving as they loosen what have often been tightly held single-firm relationships. He says: ���Large US private equity houses used to be seen as being very wedded to one firm. Carlyle would only use Latham, KKR and Blackstone would only use Simpson Thacher, and so on. But over the last three or four years, funds like those have actively proliferated their supplier base. "While that doesn���t mean those longstanding relationship firms aren���t doing most of their work, there are more opportunities for other firms these days. That���s really played into our hands.��� And Lloyd maintains he will stay at A&amp;O to see the practices development through: ���I���ll stay here as long as they want me," he says. "We���ve got a relatively young team and I want to leave behind something amazing that will go from strength to strength.��� <

  • Ashurst
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Simpson Thacher Bartlett

> Knitter: Too few entities/relations are generated compared to number of concepts (only 98% (88/89) concepts are converted).

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