This is the second billion-dollar deal this year for Shaw Pittman's London office. Last month it advised pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca on its £1.2bn outsourcing deal with IBM (The Lawyer, 26 February). In the Cable & Wireless deal, Shaw Pittman has moved on from outsourcing to networking.
Networks are the architecture of technology - the area may not be as sexy as e-commerce but investors love its stability. And the deals are usually bigger and therefore more profitable for advisers. This deal also stands out as it is one of the first concerned with using internet technology to transmit voice calls.
It is also a nice example of a close relationship between firm and client. Shaw Pittman in the US has worked with Cable & Wireless for some time, particularly through corporate technology partner Trevor Nagel. But London is forging its own relationship; the office's first ever deal in 1998 was for Cable & Wireless and things are still going strong.