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Herbert Smith has captured a new FTSE 100 client with the capital restructuring of high street retailer Next
The appointment came despite the fact that Next has previously used Eversheds and Simmons & Simmons for corporate work. Next has embarked on a share buyback programme, with financial advice provided by investment bank Lazards. Lazards suggested work on the capital reconstruction be referred to Herbert Smith corporate partner Anthony Macaulay, with whom the bank has a close relationship. The retailer has used Simmons for major corporate work in the past and Eversheds for smaller projects. Next has not been particularly active and last instructed Simmons corporate partner Chris Wilkinson over two years ago. The company did have a close relationship with retired Simmons partner Tony Dove. A Sim-mons spokesperson claimed the firm was neither surprised nor disappointed by Next's decision to use the rival firm. The capital restructuring is being led by Herbert Smith corporate partners Henry Raine and Louise Freestone. Raine indicated that the capital restructuring was "incredibly legally intensive", so presumably it is a lucrative instruction. Raine also said: "We hope to get Next's larger corporate work in the future." Herbert Smith will introduce a listed holding company requiring a court-approved scheme of arrangement. The process will free up reserves with which Next will buy back shares on the open market.