Gibson Dunn, Linklaters opposite global spread of firms on engineering sell-off

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Linklaters and Speechly Bircham are among a raft of firms to have won roles advising on the sale of four Rotary UK businesses to engineering company Lorne Stewart following the administration of Rotary’s Australian parent group Hastie.

Gibson Dunn’s London office acted as lead counsel to Lorne Stewart having advised the company’s parent unit, the Rezayat Group, on a number of M&A transactions in the past.

The US firm’s City team was led by corporate partner James Barabas alongside corporate transactions associate Amar Madhani. London co-partner-in-charge James Cox advised on employment aspects with associate Katy Breslin, while London restructuring partner Greg Campbell advised on insolvency aspects.

Speechly Bircham pensions partner Jane Wolstenholme advised Lorne Stewart on pensions matters, while Australian firm Gilbert & Tobin advised it on Australian law, with the team led by Sydney partner Dominic Emmett and banking and finance associate Nicholas Edwards.

Irish firm A&L Goodbody, led by Belfast restructuring partner Michael Neill, advised the buyer on Northern Irish matters.

Linklaters, led by restructuring managing associate Mahnvir Singh, advised Rotary’s administrators, Chad Griffin and Simon Kirkhope at FTI Consulting, with Minter Ellison advising on Australian law.

The sale saves four of Rotary’s regional businesses, but three other divisions of the Rotary group did not form part of the transaction and have been wound down.

Rotary has carried out building services for a host of high-profile projects including a £35m contract for Media City in Salford and a £10m project for Westfield Shopping Centre in White City, London.

The sale has saved 391 jobs, with 146 people made redundant from businesses that were not included in the deal, according to reports.

Background to this deal:

Lorne Stewart’s parent company, the Rezayat Group, is a client of Gibson Dunn, turning to the US firm for large M&A transactions but not for day-to-day issues. The relationship can be pinned down to now-retired London partner Kenneth Lamb, who advised the group on a number of transactions during his time at the firm, including Royal Boskalis Westminster’s 2011 agreement with Rezayat to sell SMIT’s terminal and AHTS transport activities to Lamnalco, in which both Boskalis and Rezayat held a stake.