Simpson Thacher hires secondaries duo from Travers Smith

The appointments are the latest in a string of secondaries lawyer moves to firms such as Fried Frank and Sidley Austin.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has hired a pair of secondaries experts from Travers Smith to bulk up its expertise in the strategy.

Ed Ford and Sacha Gofton-Salmond will join the firm as partners, based in the London office, according to a statement. Both specialise in structuring and negotiating complex deals including GP- and LP-led transactions, NAV financings, preferred equity financings and other structured processes.

The pair’s hire will help Simpson Thacher’s private funds and fund transactions practices in advising sponsors and investors on liquidity processes amid an ever-changing market, Alden Millard, chair of the law firm’s executive committee, said in the statement.

Simpson Thacher advised on $35 billion’s worth of secondaries deals in 2021, according to the Secondaries Investor Law Firm Survey 2022. A large proportion of this – accounting for $7.5 billion – was for preferred equity and NAV financing deals. Forty percent of the firm’s secondaries work that year was in real assets, among the highest proportions in the survey.

There have been numerous personnel moves within the secondaries legal community over the last three months. Last week, Sidley Austin said it had hired Nicholas Cassin from Kirkland & Ellis as a partner in its investment funds group, based in New York.

Cassin was the second departure from Kirkland this year, with partner Jacqueline Eaves leaving to join Goodwin in London, as Secondaries Investor reported in January.

In December, Fried Frank said it had hired Andrew Rearick from Debevoise & Plimpton to join its M&A and private equity practice as a partner, based in London. Rearick had advised Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on its single-asset GP-led involving Belron, according to a Fried Frank statement about Rearick’s hire.