Adventures as diverse as a trip to the international space station and a day on the set of ER are among those available in a massive charity auction on which Bates Wells & Braithwaite advised.
The online auction was launched last month by Chivas Regal to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of the founding of Scotch whiskies maker Chivas Brothers. The online auction is believed to be the biggest such event ever held. More than 100 leading charities are involved, including Oxfam, Help the Aged and Make a Wish. Other lots include the chance to drive off with Joanna Lumley's 1986 Ferrari. DLA advised Chivas on its agreement with online marketplace eBay, but charities specialist Bates Wells was approached to advise on other matters. Chivas is a new client for the firm. The work included agreements with the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), which will handle funds generated by the auction, negotiations with the organisers of each lot and with each charity taking part. CAF is a longstanding client of Bates Wells. A Chinese wall was set up to enable partner Rosamund Smith to advise it on the auction. Head of charities Stephen Lloyd led on the work for Chivas with assistant Lawrie Simanowitz. Lloyd said: "The work involved a series of bilateral negotiations with leading charities. Inevitably, there were some renegotiations, but we started from a reasonable standpoint so that people didn't feel this was a difficult or complicated document." Lloyd said the most "outlandish" set of negotiations was with the Nevada organisation, which organises trips into space. The successful bidder will be able to become a space tourist only if he or she passes the necessary training. Because of this, the bid had to be constructed in two phases, allowing for further payment to be made if the trip goes ahead.