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Linklaters and Olswang to face questions in Parliament over BHS controversy

Linklaters and Olswang have been called before a Parliamentary committee to answer questions over the sale and contentious administration of BHS.

As part of a Parliamentary investigation both law firms will face questioning over the UK department store’s 2015 sale. Linkaters corporate partner Owen Clay last year advised Arcadia on the disposal of BHS, while Olswang represented Retail Acquisition.

Linklaters and Olswang confirmed that they had been called before Parliament but made no further comment.

With BHS falling into administration this week, putting 11,000 jobs at risk, the House of Commons Business Innovation and Skills Select Committee launched an inquiry into the sale to Retail Acquisitions by retail tycoon Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia for £1 last year.

Former BHS-owner Green is also expected to appear before MPs to face questions over the affair. The Work and Pensions Select Committee will also be investigating how the administration will affect the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), with the retailer’s pension scheme facing a £571m deficit.

In March Weil Gotshal & Manges represented BHS and BHS Properties on its proposals for Company Voluntary Arrangements as part of a wider turnaround plan to tackle the struggling retailer’s heavy property costs. The Weil Gotshal team was led by London head of restructuring Adam Plainer alongside restructuring partner Mark Lawford, head of banking Mark Donald, and real estate head Rupert Jones. KPMG also advised BHS. Weil is currently acting on the administration opposite DLA Piper.

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