Pinsent Curtis is merging with Biddle with effect from the start of February and according to Pinsent’s national head of corporate finance and head of private equity, Mark Greenough, this is good news for the private equity practice. Alongside Greenough in London are Tracey Coldwell and Duncan McDonald as partners. Marina Fariba has also recently joined them as associate; Fariba was an in-house lawyer with 3i for ten years. In addition to these four there are another seven lawyers with Pinsent’s private equity practice and Biddle’s private equity team, led by Roger Fink, also based in London, will bring the total number of lawyers to 19. Greenough retains his role as head of private equity in the newly merged entity.
Greenough’s team at Pinsent has tended to work for the institutional investors on mid market buyouts (defined by Greenough in the £10 million to £250 million bracket), a focus which saw the firm advise on 45 buyouts last year alone. Biddle, on the other hand, has concentrated on acting on behalf of management teams.
Aside from getting involved in the Biddle merger process Greenough has had his work load increased by being responsible for finding continental European merger partners for Pinsent Curtis. Late last year this resulted in an exclusive alliance agreement with the Swedish law firm Magnus Wahlin. Greenough describes this agreement as permitting all Swedish work for Pinsent being done by Magnus Wahlin and vice versa for all UK work asked of Magnus Wahlin. Aside from this there is the sharing certain costs such as marketing. Presumably, if successful, a more formal arrangement may later result. However, for the time being Greenough is concerned with finding a similar alliance partner for Pinsent Curtis and Biddle in Germany – that is when his time is not taken up merging the private equity practices of the Pinsent and Biddle.