Funds practice leader to join Dechert in latest Travers Smith exit

  • Travers Smith’s mutual funds group head, Sam Kay, will join Dechert in London
  • Other senior partners of Travers Smith have joined US law firms in London in recent months

March 22 (Reuters) – Dechert is adding Sam Kay to its financial services and investment management practice in London, the firm announced on Wednesday, becoming the latest US firm to hire a senior partner from UK-based Travers Smith. Kay’s entry date at Dechert has yet to be confirmed, a company spokesman said.

Kay, who most recently headed the mutual fund group, is leaving Travers Smith after 25 years, including 14 years as a partner. He specializes in creating funds in private equity, infrastructure and real estate, Dechert said in a statement.

According to an archived version of his biography on Travers Smith’s website, Kay has advised funds, fund managers and private equity firms including Benson Elliot Capital Management (now Pinebridge Investments), Hermes GPE, Abris Capital Partners, Medicxi and Elysian Capital LLP.

Travers Smith has lost a number of practice heads to US law firms in recent months. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett hired a trio of Travers Smith wealth management partners, including Stephanie Biggs, to co-manage its European financial services and funds. M&A tax director Jessica Kemp joined White & Case last month.

Private equity chief Ian Shawyer joined Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in January. Goodwin Procter hired employment partner Alex Fisher in November and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson added private equity partner James Renahan in September.

A Travers Smith spokesman wished Kay well but declined to comment on other recent departures from the company.

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Kay is Dechert’s second London partner this year after it hired the head of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s outpost in the city in a three-lawyer antitrust case.

Philadelphia-based Dechert made just one hiring in the city last year after joining Ropes & Gray’s global white collar co-leader Judith Seddon in March.

Kay’s “reputation and experience, among other things, will help shape our continued growth in the London private equity fund market,” said Gus Black, co-chair of Dechert’s global financial services group, in a statement.

(Note: This story has been updated to clarify that Sam Kay has not yet joined Dechert.)

Reporting by Nimitt Dixit

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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