Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has appointed Mitchell Presser, a former partner at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and a founding partner of private equity firm Paine & Partners, as head of the firm's M&A practice in the United States. Presser's extensive experience in the M&A realm includes working on Morgan Stanley's acquisition of oil pipeline and terminal company TransMontaigne in 2006 and QVC's bid to acquire Paramount in 1994, in a drawn-out takeover battle in which Viacom's $9.75 billion bid ultimately won out.
In a discussion with IFLR1000, Presser reflected on his experience and his vision for expanding the reach of his new firm's M&A practice globally.
"I spent 17 years at Wachtell, I was a partner for 11 years, and then I left to become a founding partner of Paine & Partners, a private equity firm. We raised a $1.2 billion fund and we invested that fund over the last six to seven years," Presser recalled.
"I'd say at least half the deals I did were truly global transactions. That's where I got to see the importance and value of being able to deal with not just risk, but also opportunity, across the globe and really help businesses optimize the way they approach transactions," he added.
Presser said that while Freshfields has had significant success at building out its antitrust, litigation, global investigations, white-collar, and international arbitration practices, and while the firm's M&A practice has worked on $60 billion of deals in the first six months of 2014, the size of the M&A group is not yet where he and his colleagues would like it to be.
"We intend to build a broad, world-class full-service transactional practice in the U.S. focused on global transactions just as we have in the rest of the world," he commented.
Adam Siegel, the firm's regional managing partner for the U.S. and co-head of its global investigations practice, said, "Mitchell brings to us the business experience of a private equity principal combined with decades of experience counseling on the world's most important mergers and acquisitions."