Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Slaughter and May must be sick of the sight of each other. The firms are squaring up on a bid for ICI, with Slaughters advising Dutch giant Akzo Nobel on its £7.2bn approach and Freshfields getting the nod from ICI. The firm advised the chemicals company on the £1.2bn disposal of its scent business earlier in the year to Swiss company Quest. But the corporate behemoths also came across each other in Bupa's sale of 26 hospitals to Freshfields client Cinven, secured last weekend. The private equity house paid £1.5bn for the hospitals from Slaughters client Bupa. Freshfields also advised Cinven on its 2005 acquisition of Partnerships in Care, the mental-health service provider, for £552m. Partnerships in Care was just part of the existing medical portfolio that clinched the Bupa deal for Cinven in a highly competitive auction that saw six private equity houses table bids.