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This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
The London office of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has closed its first deal for US vulture fund Cerberus.
A team led by former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Tim Emmerson and including Russell Jacobs and Derek Wee advised Cerberus on its last-minute involvement in the acquisition of the operating assets and securitised debt of Boxclever, one of WestLB’s failed investments.
Cerberus has been active in Europe, but has used a range of law firms, including Ashurst and Freshfields. However, Cerberus has a strong relationship with Milbank in the US and the firm will expect to pick up the lion’s share of Cerberus’s UK work going forward.
Boxclever’s creditors – WestLB and a range of minority creditors, including former Nomura man Guy Hands – recouped what is understood to be around £200m. It is unclear how the money will be split.
Boxclever’s receiver Tony Lomas at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was advised by Allen & Overy banking partner Gordon Stewart.
The deal has been going on since late 2003, when Goldman Sachs kicked off an auction of Boxclever’s assets. The TV rental company was originally a joint venture between Granada and Thorn, but the two sold out when WestLB’s Robyn Saunders invested in the company and undertook a whole business securitisation.
In March 2004, Cerberus lost out at auction to rival US distressed debt fund Fortress, advised by Weil Gotshal & Manges partners Mike Francies and Jacky Kelly.
However, after months of negotiations between Fortress and PwC, Cerberus re-emerged in partnership with Fortress late last year. Weil Gotshal handled the M&A deal, while Milbank handled the inter-company agreement between Fortress and Cerberus.
Fortress uses Weil Gotshal and Linklaters in the UK, although the fund also has a relationship with Milbank.