While Freshfields has won a string of corporate instructions in Asia from HSBC, the bank has traditionally instructed Norton Rose in the UK and on regulatory issues, such as the OFT investigation into bank services for small businesses.
The OFT announced last week (7 September) that it is preparing a study into bank charges on personal accounts.
The Lawyer can reveal that Freshfields partner Simon Orton has won the mandate to advise HSBC in what is understood to be the magic circle firm's first major UK instruction from the bank on its own account work.
Simmons & Simmons got the nod from Barclays and Lovells is advising Lloyds TSB. Linklaters is acting for the Royal Bank of Scotland.