Herbert Smith has scooped the £3.545bn debt finance mandate on PSA International's bid for P&O.
A team led by Clive Barnard and Euan Ferguson is understood to be advising Goldman Sachs, RBS and UBS on the acquisition financing, after a series of other City firms were conflicted out.
However, the deal represents a major breakthrough for Herbert Smith, which has committed to increase its finance turnover to 20 per cent of worldwide revenue over the next five years.
New finance head Jason Fox has overseen a major recruitment drive, including the hiring of two partners from Denton Wilde Sapte at the end of last year.
Slaughter and May partners Richard Hall and Matthew Tobin are advising PSA as the borrower.
Both Herbert Smith and Slaughter and May declined to comment.
This morning (January 27) rival bidder DP World raised its offer for P&O. DP World is being advised by Linklaters and also by Clifford Chance on the financing. Allen & Overy and Denton Wilde Sapte are acting for the banks on the DP World bid.