Willkie Farr & Gallagher has hired two new partners in London as it launches a private equity practice in the City.

Matthew Dean and Claire McDaid have both joined the team from Kirkland & Ellis where they acted for clients such as Bain Capital, CapVest, Sun Capital and Visa Equity Partners.

Dean is US qualified while McDaid is an English law partner.

Though Willkie currently has a relationship with private equity and venture capital boutique Dickson Minto in London this is the first time it has looked to establish a team on the ground.