Football, thugs and prize roles
12 March 2010
12 July 2013
30 September 2013
24 June 2013
8 January 2014
12 November 2013
As a City lawyer you can find yourself working with big household names, on issues covered by the national media or alongside the odd celebrity.
In the past two weeks all three of the above scenarios have claimed copy space in the legal press.
The first big deal in the news will be of particular interest to the Manchester United fans among you. Freshfields corporate chief Mark Rawlinson is acting as an informal legal advisor for a group of businessmen looking to buy the club.
Rawlinson, who is a Manchester United fan himself, hosted a meeting with the group - dubbed the Red Knights - at Freshfields’ office to discuss raising around £1bn to make an offer to the club’s current owner Malcolm Glazer (see story).
Rawlinson is perhaps the best placed to advise on the bid after he acted for the club during the Glazer family’s hostile takeover back in 2005 (see story).
It has been reported that the group will be looking to raise the cash from supporters and high net worth individuals before making an offer to Glazers. But they could be in for a fight because the Glazers have said that the club is not up for sale - despite the fact that the club has reported debts of more than £700m.
Earlier this year, A&O advised when the club launched a £500m bond issue, the biggest by any football club, to service its increasing mountain of debt.
A bond is a formal debt contract that sees an issuer repay borrowed money with interest over a fixed timeframe - up to 2017 for Manchester United under this agreement.
From football to the world of celebrity, Snoop Dogg has been gracing the pages of Lawyer 2B’s sister publication The Lawyer. But this is not for anything football related - even though he did hit the headlines last year for using $1.3m of his own money to start a youth football league.
Dogg, real name Calvin Broadus, can now reapply for a fresh visa to enter and work in the UK - thanks to Bates Wells & Braithwaite partner Phillip Trott. (see story)
After a long-running battle, two senior immigration judges found that border authorities were wrong to refuse Dogg entry clearance back in 2007.
He began his battle with the UK officials after a skirmish between the rapper’s 30-strong entourage and police at Heathrow airport in 2006 and then was barred entry when he tried to come back in 2007.
Dubbed the legal world’s “hip hop lawyer” Trott challenged the legal principles of Dogg’s refusal, with judges ruling that Dogg had a “relatively minor” role in the Heathrow scuffle, which was “precipitated” by decisions made by BA staff and the police.
Trott has since described the case as a “catastrophic” waste of public money.
Talking of money, Debevoise & Plimpton and Slaughter and May have landed themselves prize roles on one of the biggest deals this year.
The pair have taken on Prudential’s proposed $35.5bn (£23.9bn) purchase of American International Group’s (AIG) Asian insurance business.
Slaughters is fielding an 11-partner team advising Prudential on both the purchase and a record $20bn rights issue.
A company can opt for a rights issue to raise capital and in this case Prudential has arranged this to part fund the transaction.
Debevoise is acting for AIG on the deal, which is expected to close in the summer, following Prudential’s cash call. (see story)