A&O leads for Nationwide on Dunfermline takeover

Addleshaw Goddard, Allen & Overy, Dundas & Wilson and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have won key roles in the rescue of Dunfermline Building Society, Scotland’s largest mutual. 

Addleshaw Goddard, Allen & Overy (A&O), Dundas & Wilson and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have won key roles in the rescue of Dunfermline Building Society, Scotland’s largest mutual. 

A&O acted for longtime client Nationwide Building Society, which struck a deal with the Government to take over Dunfermline’s branches, deposits and some of its loan book. Corporate finance partner Alistair Asher led the A&O team.

The Bank of England, which used new powers to prevent Dunfermline from collapsing after posting a £26m loss, turned to Freshfields.

Dunfermline instructed Dundas & Wilson, led by head of retail financial services Philip Mackay. The building society recevied advice on English matters from Addleshaw Goddard partner Ian McIntosh.

The Treasury, represented by Slaughter and May partner George Seligman, has taken on £1bn of risky mortgage debt as part of the rescue package.

A separate Freshfields team advised KPMG, which had been appointed as the company’s administror, with SJ Berwin acting as conflict counsel. Scottish firm Tods Murray  also acted for the Bank of England, led by partners Hamish Patrick and Robert Dobie.

The Treasury said that Dunfermline would not have been able to pay depositors without the rescue package, which was carried out using new powers allowing the government to take control of failing financial institutions.

Freshfields used a large team on the transaction, with financial institutions partner Michael Raffan assisted by tax partner Richard Ballard, IP partner Chris Forsyth, head of finance Alan Newton, corporate partner James Smethurst and restructing partner Richard Tett.

Restructuring and insolvency partners Neil Golding and Nick Segal led the team advising KPMG, alongside SJ Berwin partners Michael Woollard and Dan Wheatley.