Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has closed its first corporate deal for acquisitive Australian bank Macquarie, advising it on the $1.24bn (£659.01m) sale of South East Water to Hastings Fund Management, an infrastructure investment fund led by another Australian bank, Westpac. BLP, led by partner Patrick Somers, scored the mandate after the firm advised Macquarie on a refinancing deal earlier in the year. Linklaters, led by partner Nick Rees, advised Hastings on its purchase. The South East Water sale is widely seen as a tactical manoeuvre to remove regulatory obstacles in Macquarie’s bid for Thames Water. BLP will have to work hard to capitalise on its fledgling relationship with Macquarie as it is already conflicted out of advising the bank on its purchase of Thames Water as it is already retained by the water company’s board to advise on its sale by parent RWE, advised by Slaughter and May.