A&O, Linklaters in HBOS-Lloyds merger talks

Allen & Overy has bagged the lead instruction advising struggling mortgage lender HBOS in its reported merger talks with Lloyds TSB.


A&O, <a class=Linklaters in HBOS-Lloyds merger talks” />Allen & Overy (A&O) has bagged the lead instruction advising struggling mortgage lender HBOS in its reported merger talks with Lloyds TSB.

Linklaters is understood to be assisting Lloyds on the reported talks, with relationship partner Jeremy Parr heading the team.

A&O corporate partner Alistair Asher is relationship partner for HBOS and is leading the transaction, assisted by corporate partner David Broadley and corporate senior associate Gordon Milne, and by anti-trust partner Mark
Friend on regulatory issues.

A&O has so far been the magic circle firm conspicuous by its absence in the fall-out of the crisis on Wall Street, after Linklaters scooped the largest UK instruction advising on Lehman Brothers’ UK administration (15 September) with Clifford Chance advising Barclays on buying Lehman’s healthier assets (17 September).

HBOS’ share price plummeted by more than 50 per cent this morning, though it has since recovered significantly in response to the news of the merger talks.

A&O is also in the lead role advising the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), which is playing a pivotal role in relation to Lehman’s role as a counterparty. A&O UK derivatives partner Ed Murray is leading the team. He is currently with ISDA in New York.

Earlier this year, A&O advised HBOS on its £4bn rights issue (TheLawyer.com, 29 April).

At the time Asher told The Lawyer: “It is a healthy sign that people are prepared to invest in good clean equity.”