Linklaters partners up sticks for K&E

Law firm Linklaters has lost global head of private equity Graham White and partner Raymond McKeeve to US-based rival Kirkland & Ellis.

Charlie Jacobs, a “star” M&A partner at Linklaters, will take responsibility for the London team, which includes fellow partners Carlton Evans, Stephen Blackshaw, Dominic Welham, Aedamar Comiskey and Richard Youle.

White and McKeeve both previously worked at Dickson Minto’s London office until 1999, when they joined SJ Berwin. The two then moved to Linklaters in 2001.

At Linklaters, White’s recent deals include CVC Capital Partners’ acquisition and subsequent disposal of car parts retailer Kwik Fit to Paris-based investment house PAI Partners for €1.15bn (US$1.4bn) in June 2005; and Apax Partners’ €951m (US$1.14bn) purchase of surgical and wound care products manufacturer Molnlycke Healthcare from Nordic Capital in April 2005.

White’s other private equity clients at Linklaters included JPMorgan, TDR Capital and CVC Capital Partners.

McKeeve’s recent private equity work for Linklaters included representing Apax Partners, Barclays Capital and Robert Tchenguiz’s investment vehicle on the £1.1bn acquisition of supermarket chain Somerfield late last year and UK private equity house Aletheia Partners and Austrian investment firm Hardt Group on the €600m purchase of German cable TV company EWT.

McKeeve has also acted on behalf of private equity firms Montagu Private Equity and Permira for Linklaters.