Browned off at A&O

Allen & Overy, Farrer & Co, Harbottle & Lewis, Olswang. The roll call of law firms being dragged into the News International saga grows by the day.

The Guardian’s latest revelations, which suggested that journalists from the Sunday Times had targeted the former Prime Minster to obtain information from his bank account, prompted some bafflement in the City.

At the time, A&O still had a private wealth department (now spun off as Maurice Turnor Gardner), but Gordon Brown – who is unlikely to have a web of offshore trusts or a family office – is hardly an obvious client.

Immediately, A&O – which is advising News Corp on its bid for BSkyB – issued a rebuttal. It turns out that the Sunday Times journalists were looking for info on how much Brown paid for a flat. A flat he bought from Arthur Andersen (remember them?), the administrators of a certain disgraced media tycoon called Robert Maxwell (remember him?).

Ah, the days of Maxwell. Media scandals were so much simpler then.

Plus: Breaking news – Freshfields launches probe into business services team over supplier agreements.

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