CVC poaches Freshfields PE head

The UK firm has bolstered its in-house legal capability by appointing Christopher Bown as a senior adviser.

The head of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s private equity practice will join CVC Capital Partners in May next year.

Christopher Bown will leave Freshfields in April to take on a part-time senior advisor role. He will work with CVC’s deal teams and its existing in-house legal function, as well as providing advice and assistance to CVC portfolio companies.

“It’s a role that we will define as we go along, to be honest,” Bown told PE Manager, “I’ll be working with the deal teams and portfolio companies and using my deal and situational experience.”

The firm’s existing legal team is led by managing director Richard Perris, who joined CVC in 2005 from Clifford Chance.

CVC had been a client of Bown’s for eight years, notably overseeing deals like its acquisition of brewer Starbev in 2009 and subsequent exit in 2012, and its partial exit of Formula One last year.

CVC declined to comment further.

Bown is not the only high-profile lawyer to leave Freshfields for private equity in recent months. In October, global managing partner Ted Burke left the firm to become chief operating officer and general counsel of energy-focused investment firm Arclight Capital.