Eversheds recaptures Stanley work from Ashurst

Eversheds has reasserted its grip on its client of 20 years Stanley Leisure after losing out to Ashurst on a big corporate instruction late last year.

Eversheds banking partner Nigel Dale advised Stanley on a major restructuring of its banking arrangements and a new £275m facility agreement. The arrangement is a new five-year syndicated facility, led by Barclays Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

Ashurst won its first instruction from Stanley at the end of 2004, when it advised the company on a joint venture with Malaysian casino group Genting.

Ashurst’s fledgling relationship has to date been solely on the corporate side. The instruction came through partner Bruce Hanton’s long-term relationship with financial director Colin Child. Prior to joining Stanley, Child worked at another Ashurst client, National Express.

“We’re still very much in contact, but we do work as deals come along,” said Hanton. “These plcs use a number of firms… If something else came along, I certainly hope that we’d be in with a shout.”

Eversheds was upset to have missed out on the Malaysian deal after advising the client since its flotation 20 years ago. The national firm advises Stanley on corporate issues, employment, property, competition, licensing and, of course, banking.

Eversheds client partner Geoff Blower said: “I’d like to think that the instruction to Ashurst was a one-off. It arose out of a relationship with the new financial director, who joined the company relatively recently. Certainly, we’ve not seen any lessening of instructions or any indication that they see Ashurst as their prime adviser. We have, coincidentally, been doing some work for that joint venture since it’s been formed.”

Allen & Overy partner Stephen Kensell and associate Richard Satchwell advised Barclays Bank and RBS.