Skadden recruits White & Case private equity star Youle in double partner hire

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has made a major double hire in London with the addition of White & Case global private equity co-head Richard Youle and fellow private equity partner Katja Butler.

Youle (pictured) has been at White & Case since 2014 after moving from Linklaters, where he was also private equity co-head alongside Ian Bagshaw, who joined him at the US firm.

Youle and Bagshaw, who were associates together at Eversheds in the 1990s, were appointed global co-heads of private equity at White & Case in October 2015, alongside New York partner Oliver Brahmst. Bagshaw and Brahmst will continue to lead the practice following Youle’s departure.

Youle’s clients include CapVest, HgCapital, Terra Firma, Global Infrastructure Partners, Montagu Private Equity and Oaktree Capital. Before joining White & Case, he played a key role in building up Linklaters’ private equity practice, having been a partner there since 2006.

Meanwhile, Butler, who was made up to partner at White & Case in October last year, focuses on transactional private equity as well as advising sponsor-held portfolio companies between buy-out and exit.

Skadden London head Pranav Trivedi said: “Richard and Katja will assume fundamental roles in driving our private equity practice forward, working with other members of our private equity team and our M&A, capital markets, investment management, real estate, banking and tax lawyers.”

Following Youle’s move to White & Case, the firm won a spot on HgCapital’s legal panel for the first time. Youle was the relationship partner for HgCapital at Linklaters and brought that relationship to White & Case when he joined.

The moves represent rare hires for Skadden’s City base.

In late 2014, the firm recruited two London laterals – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s non-contentious insurance head Robert Stirling and Dechert international arbitration London head Daniel Gal. Those hires were the first in London for the firm since early 2012, when it was joined by Weil Gotshal & Manges restructuring partner Dominic McCahill and Macfarlanes funds partner Stephen Sims.

A three-partner Skadden London team is currently advising Moody’s on its €3bn (£2.6bn) acquisition of Bureau van Dijk.

A White & Case spokesman said: “We can confirm that Richard Youle and Katja Butler are leaving White & Case to join Skadden. We wish them every success in their future endeavours. Our private equity team and leadership is deep and broad on a global basis, and will continue to be run by Ian Bagshaw based in London and Oliver Brahmst based in New York.”