Legal Business

Macfarlanes gets the gig as firms line up on Verizon’s $2.4bn purchase of Fleetmatics


Just days after the headline grabbing acquisition of Yahoo!, Goodwin Procter, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, A&L Goodbody and Macfarlanes are among those who have landed roles advising on Verizon’s purchase of Fleetmatics Group.

US internet giant Verizon has agreed to buy the Dublin-based and New York Stock Exchange-listed vehicle communications company for $60 a share in cash, valuing the offer at around $2.4bn.

The deal will see Verizon pick up Fleetmatics’ web-based solutions and tracking software for vehicle fleet operators, which provide insights into the mobile workforce. The company, which has offices in the US, UK and Ireland, has 1,200 employees and around 37,000 customers with 737,000 subscribers to its services.

Verizon was advised by US firm Cleary Gottlieb, Macfarlanes in London and A&L Goodbody on the Irish side of the deal. The Macfarlanes team advising Verizon was led by a trio of partners in Graham Gibb, Nicholas Barclay and Ashley Greenbank.

For Macfarlanes, the mandate follows the firm’s advice to Verizon in 2013 when Vodafone sold off its 45% interest in the company.

Fleetmatics was advised by Goodwin Procter technology partners Kenneth Gordon, James Matarese and Joseph Theis. Maples and Calder also advised on the Fleetmatics side.

Ashurst advised Wells Fargo and PJT Partners, the joint financial advisers to Verizon on the deal. The Ashurst team was led by corporate partners Adrian Clark and Karen Davies.

The announcement of the deal follows Verizon’s purchase of Yahoo! for $4.8bn. The acquisition was confirmed last week, with elite US firms taking on the major roles. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Covington & Burling and Winston & Strawn all acted for Verizon. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Weil, Gotshal & Manges served as legal advisers to the internet company.

The acquisition of Yahoo! and the offer for Fleetmatics come after Verizon’s purchase of AOL last year for $4.4bn.

Legal Business

Small islands, big cases



Maples and Calder’s BVI managing partner, Arabella di Iorio, looks at complex commercial litigation in the British Virgin Islands

We all know the oft-repeated statistics: the hundreds of thousands of British Virgin Islands (BVI) incorporated companies, the hedge funds, the limited partnerships, the captive insurance companies. Those of us fortunate enough to live here also know that the BVI is among the most beautiful places on earth. But what is just as often forgotten is that the development of the BVI as a sophisticated offshore financial centre has gone hand in hand with its development as a jurisdiction able to handle the most complex international litigation.

Legal Business

Ireland’s lucky number seven: Irish Treasury appoints septuplet of firms to its legal panel


Thanks to the economic turbulence that has plagued the Irish nation since 2008, Dublin’s largest firms continue to collect hefty recession related work post financial crisis, including most recently an appointment to advise the government’s asset and liabilities manager, the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).

The NTMA, which is responsible for borrowing on behalf of the Irish government and managing the national debt, has appointed Dublin-based Big Five firms A&L Goodbody, Arthur Cox, William Fry, McCann FitzGerald and Matheson to its general legal services panel alongside Mason Hayes & Curran and offshore funds giant Maples and Calder.

In recent years advising on Ireland’s debt has been particularly lucrative. Traditionally, Arthur Cox has been recognised as the state’s go-to firm, having led on many of Ireland’s headline bank restructuring deals, including the NTMA’s transfer of €15.8bn of deposits and assets from Irish Nationwide Building Society to Irish Life & Permanent, and from the now-defunct Anglo Irish Bank to Allied Irish Banks (€12.2bn).

However, this latest panel announcement comes as the government is under serious public scrutiny over legal fees, particularly in relation to its controversial bank guarantee scheme, which has landed the Irish tax-payer with over €64bn of debt.

Following a parliamentary question published in mid-July, finance minister Michael Noonan revealed that since 2011 the government has paid Arthur Cox around €5m for advice on the scheme including fees this year so far of €981,012.

Noonan also revealed that the state has paid out more than €960,000 to Matheson since last year – a sum it says was for ‘advice on transactions undertaken by the Minister in relation to Irish Life.’

See the September issue of Legal Business for an extensive insight into Ireland’s legal market