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First, love all the lawyers

First, love all the lawyers 2006-03-01 Staff Writer In last month's issue of <italic>Private Equity Manager</italic>, we presented some interesting statistics - estimates of how many people work at private equity firms around the world. Capital IQ counts 36,716.<br /><br />This number

In last month's issue of Private Equity Manager, we presented some interesting statistics – estimates of how many people work at private equity firms around the world. Capital IQ counts 36,716.

This number, of course, doesn't count what might be termed the broader private equity family – limited partners, service providers, portfolio company managers, members of the media and, of course, attorneys. The population of private equity legal professionals is large, growing, and in demand, as evidenced by the recent bidding wars for private equity lawyers in Europe.

A related trend bodes well for legal professionals with private equity experience: More and more private equity firms are hiring in-house general counsel. And to a GP, they all say they're glad they did. At a recent PEM conference, an audience poll found that 41 percent of private equity firms represented employed an in-house legal professional. This penetration will no doubt grow, and for many reasons.

To better respond to the critical role that legal pros play in the global private equity industry, we've made a small upgrade to the pages of PEM. You'll find on p. 16 a new section called Legal Briefs, which follows the movements of legal professionals in the private equity industry. This includes attorneys at law firms and the aforementioned growing population of general counsel. As we learned from Jeff Martin of Rho Capital (see his profile, p. 17), anything new and unusual at a private equity firm tends to get handed to the general counsel, which puts this type of professional on the cutting edge of an evolving market.

We hope you also enjoy two articles in this March issue of PEM that deal with the infrastructure firms build around deal doing. On p. 18, I explore several models for the investment committee, and discover that this critical institution tends to be more art than science. On p. 25, Judy finds a spectrum of models for tracking deal contributions among deal professionals.

We're also fortunate to have a guest article from David Larsen of KPMG, who is at the center of efforts to harmonize global valuation standards. According to Larsen, the momentum toward a global standard is greater than many GPs may realize.

Enjoy the issue,

David SnowDavid.s@us.investoraccess.com