As Royal Caribbean and Carnival fight over P&O Princess, The Lawyer has learnt that Latham & Watkins had a key role alongside Slaughter and May in the European regulatory battle
Royal Caribbean instru-cted Slaughters on both the corporate and competition aspects of the P&O-Royal Caribbean merger last year. But it is understood that Lath-am was brought in later by a major shareholder to look at the EU aspects. Royal Caribb-ean acted as intervener in the Competition Commission's investigation of the tie-up. Slaughters competition partner Malcolm Nicholson acknowledged Latham's role, saying: "[Slaughters partner] Philippe [Chappatte] ran the direct interface with the Merger Task Force. Latham tended to take the lead on liaising with member states." It is unclear why a Royal Caribbean shareholder would instruct two firms, but it was clearly expensive. A lawyer working for another party estimated Royal Caribbean's legal bill in Europe as coming in at up to £10m. The appointment is a major coup for Latham. This February the firm poached four competition partners from the London and Brussels offices of Wilmer Cutler & Pickering.