Focus: Wild West or new frontier? Securities counsel divided as the cryptocurrency ‘float’ rears its blockchained head

Focus: Wild West or new frontier? Securities counsel divided as the cryptocurrency ‘float’ rears its blockchained head

Marco Cillario sizes up the pros and cons for legal advisers of the current ICO boom

‘We are in an odd position: we feel we need to be closely involved in this, but there is a reputational risk because there is a lot of fraud.’ Understandably, the partner expressing this view does not want himself or his firm identified. But such words still sum up many securities lawyers’ feelings on the hottest topic in their field for years. Continue reading “Focus: Wild West or new frontier? Securities counsel divided as the cryptocurrency ‘float’ rears its blockchained head”

Global elite joins Japanese and offshore heavyweights as Takeda persists with Shire bid

Global elite joins Japanese and offshore heavyweights as Takeda persists with Shire bid

Life sciences giant puts £46bn offer on table for Irish rival

Magic Circle duo Slaughter and May and Linklaters have been joined by Davis Polk & Wardwell and Ashurst in landing key mandates as Japanese giant Takeda Pharmaceutical Company launched a £46bn takeover of Shire last month. Continue reading “Global elite joins Japanese and offshore heavyweights as Takeda persists with Shire bid”

Rich pickings for Travers Smith and Freshfields as Bridgepoint cashes in on Pret

Rich pickings for Travers Smith and Freshfields as Bridgepoint cashes in on Pret

Ten years after acquiring Pret A Manger in a deal worth £350m, private equity house Bridgepoint is selling it for more than four times its original investment and providing City firms with big mandates.

Luxembourg-headquartered JAB Holding Company, an investment firm owned by Germany’s Reimann family, is to buy the food chain for £1.5bn. Continue reading “Rich pickings for Travers Smith and Freshfields as Bridgepoint cashes in on Pret”

Deal View: Life after Hatchard – does Skadden hunger to take its peerless M&A team to the next level?

Deal View: Life after Hatchard – does Skadden hunger to take its peerless M&A team to the next level?

‘Theirs is the biggest succession issue faced by any firm in the City,’ says one Magic Circle partner of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom’s prospects, following the retirement of veteran dealmaker Michael Hatchard (pictured right) at the end of last year.

The widely-admired Hatchard did much to make Skadden a US trailblazer in public M&A work in Europe. Though leveraged finance hogs the headlines these days, Hatchard and Skadden were still the competitive forces most cited by top M&A partners at London rivals. Having moved from Theodore Goddard in 1994, Hatchard (who remains a consultant to Skadden) was one of the most successful transfers ever in City law. Continue reading “Deal View: Life after Hatchard – does Skadden hunger to take its peerless M&A team to the next level?”

Comment: Star power is core to the law firm sales pitch – clients won’t buy excuses

Comment: Star power is core to the law firm sales pitch – clients won’t buy excuses

Within the same week, two Magic Circle firms stressed to Legal Business the same mantra after departures of big-name lawyers: it is not about stars, the focus is the platform and that is what top clients are buying. In a mobile market where even the once-untouchable elite City law firms lose marquee names to high-paying rivals, it is an increasingly familiar refrain, albeit one that has spread from mid-weight stalwarts to the tier more used to the role of hunter than prey.

But law firms – and this goes double for the leaders in the UK and US – would be well advised to go nowhere near the seductive institutional defence and not only because the financial results of the last ten years provide ample evidence that contradicts the assertion. Continue reading “Comment: Star power is core to the law firm sales pitch – clients won’t buy excuses”

Another City loss for DLA Piper as private equity star quits for Paul Hastings

Another City loss for DLA Piper as private equity star quits for Paul Hastings

Paul Hastings has hired Anu Balasubramanian to lead its private equity team in London, a striking move that sees DLA Piper lose one of its brightest deal stars.

The loss of Balasubramanian will be a fresh blow for DLA after a turbulent few months that have seen a high-profile partner exodus in the City to McDermott Will & Emery (MWE). Continue reading “Another City loss for DLA Piper as private equity star quits for Paul Hastings”

Reports of the death of CC’s sponsor practice prove exaggerated but surviving isn’t thriving

Reports of the death of CC’s sponsor practice prove exaggerated but surviving isn’t thriving

Marco Cillario finds much more substance to CC’s PE business than the usual critique but stopping managed relative decline will only get harder

‘Look at the team they had in the mid-2000s: strong personalities, industry leaders, primary advisers to any significant private equity house. There has never been a team that strong in Europe. They failed to bring through any meaningful succession.’ Continue reading “Reports of the death of CC’s sponsor practice prove exaggerated but surviving isn’t thriving”

Dealwatch: Transactional teams move into gear in strong spring showing

Dealwatch: Transactional teams move into gear in strong spring showing
  • Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) (pictured) has secured a key corporate role for engineering company and long-term client The Weir Group on the $1.3bn acquisition of US mining equipment manufacturer ESCO Corporation. London corporate partner Mike Flockhart is heading the HSF team, alongside City competition partner Kim Dietzel. Sullivan & Cromwell is advising Weir on US law, led by corporate partners Matt Hurd and Scott Crofton. Meanwhile Oregon-based law firm Stoel Rives is advising ESCO on the deal.
  • Ropes & Gray has advised Nordic Capital on the transfer of its 2008 vintage fund’s remaining nine unlisted portfolio companies to a continuation vehicle in a €2.5bn transaction. The team was led by investment funds partner Matthew Judd in London. Meanwhile Kirkland & Ellis also advised the private equity investor with a team led by Theodore Cardos and Anand Damodaran. The team also included investment funds partners Michael Belsley, Richard Watkins and Christopher Braunack, regulatory partners Lisa Cawley and Adam Skinner, antitrust partners Ellen Jakovic, Mike Robert-Smith and Michael Thorpe, and employee benefits partner Elizabeth Dyer. Offshore law firm Carey Olsen’s funds partner Daniel O’Connor and corporate partner Guy Coltman also acted on the deal.

Continue reading “Dealwatch: Transactional teams move into gear in strong spring showing”

Star power is core to your pitch – accept it

Star power is core to your pitch – accept it

Within the same week, two Magic Circle firms stressed to Legal Business the same mantra after departures of big-name lawyers: it is not about stars, the focus is the platform and that is what top clients are buying. In a mobile market where even the once-untouchable elite City law firms lose marquee names to high-paying rivals, it is an increasingly familiar refrain, albeit one that has spread from mid-weight stalwarts to the tier more used to the role of hunter than prey.

But law firms – and this goes double for the leaders in the UK and US – would be well advised to go nowhere near the seductive institutional defence and not only because the financial results of the last ten years provide ample evidence that contradicts the assertion. Continue reading “Star power is core to your pitch – accept it”

Dealwatch: International elite face off in European and transatlantic mega transactions

Dealwatch: International elite face off in European and transatlantic mega transactions
  • Latham & Watkins advised Global Infrastructure Partners on the €1.94bn buyout of Italian railway operator Italo-Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori. London partner David Walker (pictured), Italy managing partner Antonio Coletti and Milan partners Stefano Sciolla and Giovanni Sandicchi all advised the US investor as it acquired 100% of the group. Slaughter and May’s Italian ally BonelliErede advised the seller, under the leadership of partners Carlo Montagna and Elena Busson.
  • Further north, Baker McKenzie, Clifford Chance (CC) and Allen & Overy (A&O) have all advised on the $6.6bn acquisition of Danish phone carrier TDC by a consortium that includes Australian infrastructure giant Macquarie, as well as three local pension funds. Bakers
    London corporate partners Tim Sheddick and James Thompson advised long-term client Macquarie. CC advised the consortium on debt financing. A&O London partner Jonathan Brownson spearheaded the team acting on behalf of the lenders, alongside partners Matt Moore and Jake Keaveny.

Continue reading “Dealwatch: International elite face off in European and transatlantic mega transactions”