Former Linklaters leveraged finance chief Gray exits firm

Linklaters London finance partner Brian Gray, a former co-head of the magic circle firm’s leveraged finance practice, has left the firm.

Gray spent 10 years at Linklaters, after joining in 2007 from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer alongside fellow finance partner David Ereira, who moved to Paul Hastings in 2015.

He co-led Linklaters’ leveraged finance practice from 2012 to 2016 alongside Nick Syson, succeeding current managing partner Gideon Moore when he became head of banking.

According to a Linklaters spokesperson, Gray retired from the firm on 4 August. It is unclear what his future plans are.

Gray is one of a number of Linklaters banking partners who spent time at legacy Dentons firm Wilde Sapte, where he was an associate prior to joining Freshfields. Other alumni of Wilde Sapte who helped build Linklaters’ finance practice during the 2000s include Syson, restructuring partner Bruce Bell and former senior partner Robert Elliott.

Recent work Gray has handled included advising HSBC last year as arranger of debt finance in connection with ChemChina’s $43bn takeover of Swiss agribusiness company Syngenta

Last year, he also advised private equity firm BC Partners on financing connected to its $1.6bn (£1.2bn) takeover of Israeli furniture maker Keter Group.

In April, Legal Week reported that Linklaters was in the midst of an exercise to reduce the amount of equity within its finance group following a review of the practice, although the firm said that it had “no plans to actively reduce headcount” within the group.

Other recent exits from the firm’s finance practice include senior banking partner Trevor Clark, who retired earlier this year, and partner Yen Sum who moved to Sidley Austin in November.