DLA has fought off five firms including Eversheds and Nicholson Graham & Jones to become the main adviser to UK online travel agency ebookers.
The firm will be the preferred adviser for all UK non-transactional services, including banking, commercial contracts, corporate governance, data protection, human resources, immigration, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, tax, aviation and travel. The pitch was led by head of aviation Mark Franklin and supported by commercial partner Richard Bonnar, corporate partner Roland Todd and employment partner Guy Lamb. Franklin said that DLA won the work because of its expertise in travel law. "In travel law most of the work relates to the side of air travel that is regulated through licensing and bonding, and this is the type of work we do in our aviation group," he said. "But there are also contractual issues relating to terms and conditions and the pitch required firms to have this kind of expertise." Ebookers is listed on Nasdaq, the London Stock Exchange and Neuer Markt and in the past Linklaters advised the firm on its transactional work. Ebookers' general counsel and company secretary Helen O'Byrne said that the relationship with Linklaters will not change. She said that the consolidation process will allow the legal instructions to be managed more easily. "In the past, we've been using five or six firms for different types of work but now we want to be able to punch our weight and get a reduction in fees. DLA is an international firm with a broad spread of specialisation, which is very important for ebookers," she said.