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Luke McDougall


Deep experience representing a wide range of parties in UK and cross-border leveraged finance, corporate finance and restructuring matters.

Luke focuses his practice on UK and cross-border leveraged finance, corporate finance and restructuring matters. He acts on behalf of arrangers, direct lenders, equity sponsors and corporate groups on the financing of acquisitions, leveraged buyouts and portfolio acquisitions; on general corporate financing; and on the restructuring of leveraged groups.

His work is recognized by publications including Chambers UK and Global, IFLR and Legal 500 UK, which also named him “Finance Lawyer of the Year” for London in 2020. A client quoted by Chambers says Luke is “eager, bright, highly commercial and incredibly thoughtful as it relates to transactions,” while another says he “always goes above and beyond for his clients and is very calm under pressure.”


Experience highlights

Luke’s representations prior to joining Davis Polk include:

  • Advised the unitranche lenders on the £600 million financing provided for CD&R’s acquisition of UK and French business services business OCS
  • Advised six banks, including the lead arrangers, in connection with the refinancing of Advent portfolio company Rubix Group’s €1.9 billion of debt facilities
  • Advised the unitranche lenders on the $410 million financing for Bridgepoint’s acquisition of business intelligence company PEI Group
  • Advised the sole lender on the financing for Thoma Bravo’s public-to-private acquisition of international cloud provider EQS
  • Advised 11 banks, including the lead arrangers, on the $3.5 billion loan and bond financing for Bain Capital’s acquisition of research, data and insight business Kantar from WPP plc
  • Advised the arrangers in connection with the financing for Advent International’s £1.2 billion public-to-private acquisition of UK electronic and technology business Laird plc
  • Advised the arrangers in connection with €900 million of senior facilities to finance the acquisition of IPH Group by Advent International
  • Advised the second-lien investors with respect to the privately placed second-lien facility to finance Hellman & Friedman’s €5.3 billion public-to-private acquisition of Nets A/S
  • Advised the arrangers with respect to the financing for Advent International and Bain Capital’s €700 million acquisition of German payment services business Concardis
  • Advised the investors with respect to a €600 million private high-yield financing for the acquisition of Setefi by Italian financial institution ICBPI, a portfolio company of Advent International and Bain Capital
  • Acted for the sole arranger and coordinator of the $4 billion recapitalisation of Formula One



Chambers UK – Banking & Finance: Big-Ticket

Chambers Europe and Global – Banking & Finance, UK

Legal 500 UK – Acquisition Finance, London

Legal 500 UK – “Finance Lawyer of the Year,” London, 2020

IFLR1000 – Bank Lending: Lender Side, United Kingdom, Highly Regarded


LL.B., University of Sydney
B.A., University of Sydney

Professional history

  • Davis Polk since 2024
  • Partner, Paul Hastings, 2015-2024
  • Partner, Ashurst, 2014-2015
  • Associate, Ashurst, 2006-2014
  • Associate, Minter Ellison (Sydney), 2004-2006

Qualifications and admissions

  • England and Wales
  • New South Wales, Australia
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