UK: Lovells Expands Its Private Equity Practice With The Lateral Hire Of Derek Baird
Last Updated: 15 October 2001

Derek Baird, a partner with private equity specialists Dickson Minto, is to join Lovells as a partner based in London. The move will strengthen the London team in Lovells' expanding European private equity practice, building further on Lovells' strong track record and recognised reputation in the field.

Derek (34), who has spent his entire legal career with Dickson Minto, is an experienced corporate lawyer who has specialised for more than ten years in corporate finance and private equity work and has been involved in a range of domestic and cross border institutional buyout transactions. He will join Lovells' corporate practice, where he will focus in particular on private equity work.

In recent years the number of M&A transactions in Western Europe financed by private equity has risen dramatically, in both absolute and relative terms. Lovells' private equity practice, which has been an important element of the firm's corporate practice for many years, has benefited from these trends and the firm has worked for many of the leading players, including: 3i plc, Cinven, Hg Capital, Doughty Hanson, Advent International and PPM Ventures.

The internationalisation of private equity deals, particularly in Europe, has been an important feature of recent years, although the major deals are still driven and financed out of London. This has been one of the principal reasons behind Lovells' strategy of European expansion, notably in Germany, France, Italy and The Netherlands, and for seconding partners with recognised private equity expertise to Frankfurt, Paris, Prague and Rome to form, with the London team, an integrated European private equity practice.

A number of top firms have recently sought to enter the private equity market, with limited success. Lovells has been a leading force in private equity since its inception as a legal market in the 1980s, and has therefore been well placed to capitalise on its reputation and know-how in expanding and developing its private equity practice around Europe.

Explaining the significance of Derek Baird's election, Marco Compagnoni, a partner in Lovells' private equity practice in London, said:

"Private equity is a major driver for cross-border M&A work around Europe and the increasing number of funds involved require ever more sophisticated financing techniques. Yet the pool of lawyers specialising in this area has remained small and tight knit.

Lovells has a strong track record and long-standing reputation in private equity and the opportunities for growth, building on our European network, finance expertise and full service capability, are very clear. We are delighted that a practitioner of Derek's stature in the market has chosen to join our team."

Derek Baird added:

"The expansion of private equity related M&A activity will demand access to a wide range of complementary legal services and the specialist expertise required for complex domestic, cross border and leveraged transactions.

Lovells, with its extensive international network, offers this together with considerable experience and know-how of private equity work. I look forward to working with my new colleagues in further developing one of the leading pan-European practices."

Notes for Editors

  • Derek Baird (34) joined Dickson Minto as a trainee in 1990 after graduating from the University of Glasgow with a first class honours degree in law. He was made a partner in 1999 and has been based predominantly in London, spending some time in Edinburgh. He is a member of the Law Society of Scotland and a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

  • Lovells' private equity practice is recognised as one of the leading practices in Europe and features in the top rank of legal advisers acting for equity investors and lending banks. Following the arrival of Derek Baird, the practice will include 18 partners and more than 30 other lawyers based in 10 offices across Europe.

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