Americans get all the fun

If things seem a little quiet in the City this week, perhaps you should stick your nose into the American firm next door.

After testing out the rest rooms, cafeteria and snazzy elevator service, you might then stumble upon a weekly to-do list. Should this be found in the office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, you will find that Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has (again) given the firm a rare view of his wallet, turning to partner Nick Levy to negotiate offloading Aer Lingus’s share of Heathrow airport’s capacity.

But Cleary isn’t the only lucky one. Let’s assume you’ve instead stumbled into the London office of Weil Gotshal & Manges. There you’ll find that London competition partner Douglas Nave and competition associate Dean O’Connell have spent the week advising Getty Images on its $3.3bn sale to Carlyle. The stateside operations of Davis Polk, Debevoise & Plimpton and Simpson Thacher also put in a showing on the deal.

Is this all an attempt to rub salt into the (not so sore) wound that the US topped the Olympics medals table? No, thought not. The real reason is for more prosaic.

“It just goes to show why US firms are so keen to bulk up their corporate practice,” closed a source.

Still, you can always rely on blue blood Slaughter and May, where corporate and tax partners are advising drinks company Diageo on its potential acquisition of the tequila brand Jose Cuervo, to make a showing for the Brits. Jolly good show.

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