Macfarlanes sees rare partner exit as fund finance head leaves for Reed Smith

Macfarlanes investment fund finance head Bronwen Jones has left the firm after 14 years to join Reed Smith’s London office, in a rare partner exit for the City firm.

Jones will join as a partner in its financial industry group, and has been at Macfarlanes since January 2004, when she joined from Kirkland & Ellis to launch a debt finance practice for the firm.

She also launched Kirkland’s UK finance practice in 2003, having relocated to London after three years in the US firm’s New York office.

Her practice focuses on advising financial institutions on a range of fund finance matters, including capital calls and co-investment facilities, and she was part of the Macfarlanes team that advised Four Seasons Health Care on its £825m sale to private equity house Terra Firma in 2012.

In a 2015 Dealmaker interview with Legal Week, she cited her most memorable deal as acting for US private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners on the acquisition of Irish packaging company Jefferson Smurfit in the early 2000s.

Reed Smith financial industry group vice-chair Nola Beirne said: “Bronwen is one of the key players in the funds finance market in London. Her arrival will substantially assist us to achieve our strategic ambition of becoming the market-leading funds finance practice in Europe.”

Her start date is to be confirmed.

Partner departures are a relative rarity at Macfarlanes. The firm’s last exit came in November 2016, when head of competition Marc Israel left to join White & Case.

Earlier this monthLegal Week revealed that Macfarlanes had recruited Norton Rose Fulbright global and European head of technology and innovation Mike Rebeiro.

At the start of the year, the firm announced that longstanding senior partner Charles Martin would step down in 2020, when he will be succeeded by private client partner Sebastian Prichard Jones. Managing partner Julian Howard is also set to stand down the same year, with a successor to be appointed in the coming months.

A Macfarlanes press spokesperson said: ”Bronwen has made a great contribution to the firm and our debt finance practice in particular over many years and we wish her well for the future.”

The firm will not be replacing Jones in her role as leader of the investment fund finance group.