Travers Smith adds partner with GP-led focus amid promotion wave

The law firm has promoted Ed Ford, who in the last year has advised on GP-led transactions worth billions in transaction value, to bolster its secondaries capabilities.

Travers Smith has elevated an expert in structuring secondaries processes as a part of a broader bolstering of its alternative asset management and fintech payments practices.

The law firm has promoted Ed Ford to partner, effective 1 July, according to a statement. London-based Ford has advised on complex transactions in the private secondaries market, including GP-led secondaries, fund recapitalisations, LP portfolio sales, preferred equity financings and other structured secondaries transactions.

Ford, who has been with Travers Smith for almost a decade, comes up alongside six other newly minted partners in practice areas including fund structuring, M&A transactions, real estate finance, fintech and payments, and dispute resolution.

In the last 12 months, Ford has advised managers on 11 GP-led deals, corresponding to billions of pounds of transactional value, including those backed by Pantheon, LGT Capital Partners, Idinvest Partners and HarbourVest Partners, according to the statement.

In a guest commentary for affiliate title Private Equity International last month, Ford and another Travers Smith partner, Sam Kay, noted that the ability of investors to look-through into assets, particularly when there are one or a few high-quality ones in which managers are keen to retain exposure, has driven the closures for concentrated GP-led deals.

The fight for talent in secondaries remains fierce in the legal world, as in the investing and intermediating spheres. Last month, Ropes & Gray brought on its third senior lawyer in a year with secondaries experience, Secondaries Investor reported, in addition to two the firm promoted internally.