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Exclusive: James Learner heads to Huntsman Gay

August 24, 2012: 2:25 PM ET

Private equity firm adds lawyer as new managing partner.

FORTUNE -- Four months ago Robert Gay stepped down as CEO and managing partner of private equity firm Huntsman Gay Global Capital. The move led to layoffs, an office closure and the postponement of a new fundraising effort. Now it seems that Huntsman Gay is beginning to regroup.

Fortune has learned that longtime private equity attorney James Learner has agreed to join Huntsman Gay as a managing partner. He has history working with the firm, including on its recent $1.4 billion sale of Sunquest Information Systems to Roper Industries (ROP), as head of the London office for Kirkland & Ellis. He had said in January that he was planning to leave, but had not specified a destination. Expect him to work out of Huntsman Gay's Palo Alto office, and to be a full-time investment professional (as opposed to a transaction lawyer).

From an email Learner sent this week to friends and colleagues:

After 25 years, I am leaving Kirkland & Ellis and the practice of law as of August 31. I am joining Huntsman Gay Global Capital as one of the managing partners and am looking forward to wearing the client hat after a long time as an advisor.

Huntsman Gay declined to comment.

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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