The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters have been handed the prize mandates on BP’s £10bn share swap with Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft.
London corporate partner Sebastian Lawson, along with Moscow associate Sergei Diyachenko, led the Freshfields team acting for Rosneft.
At Linklaters London corporate partner Stephen Griffin and Moscow corporate partner Grigory Gadzhiev acted for BP.
The deal will see BP take a 9.5 per cent stake, worth around $8bn (£5bn), in Rosneft, with the Russian company taking a 5 per cent share in BP.
The share swap comes as the two magic circle firms are engaged in their own battle for mandates from the London-based oil company.
Last summer Freshfields established an advisory team featuring London corporate head Mark Rawlinson after it landed a role acting for BP on the defence of any potential takeovers.
The mandate was widely seen as a major blow to BP’s traditional corporate adviser Linklaters, where senior partner David Cheyne is the key relationship partner for the oil giant.
Freshfields is a longstanding adviser for Rosneft, but a source close to the matter said that no conflict issues came into play on this occasion.
It is understood that the current tie-up predates the Deepwater Horizon oilrig disaster that led to BP instructing Freshfields.
Freshfields is thought to have advised BP on its involvement with Rosneft before taking on the work.
US firm Sullivan & Cromwell recently advised BP on a deal that saw it sell its 60 per cent stake in its Argentinian joint venture (JV) Pan American Energy for $7bn. The transaction was led out of London by corporate partner Stewart Robertson (TheLawyer.com, 29 November 2010). The sale was part of a proposed divestment of around $30bn worth of assets by BP.
The Rosneft deal, BP’s first strategic venture since last April’s spill, will see the two energy companies form a JV to explore oil and gas deposits in Russia’s Arctic shelf.