Linklaters.jpg” alt=”RBS loss sparks Linklaters New York push” />The New York office of Linklaters is on the hunt for banking regulatory lawyers after it lost out on a portion of the work for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) on last year’s mammoth €71bn acquisition of Dutch bank ABN Amro.
Shearman & Sterling picked up the mandate advising RBS on US law aspects on the bid. Linklaters is now looking to plug a gap in its US practice both to reduce the odds on its missing out on future deals and also to increase the level of internal referrals it receives from elsewhere in its international network.
Linklaters corporate partner Larry Vranka, who led the New York team on the ABN deal, said the firm was keen to do more for its so-called ‘platinum clients’ such as RBS and that adding a bank regulatory practice would allow it to do this.
“It’s consistent with the firm’s strategy, which is to do global work for global clients,” Vranka added. “We didn’t get part of the US work [on ABN], and frankly, this is one area we’re very keen to build.”
Vranka’s comments coincided with a claim by the senior partner of Linklaters’ US practice, Paul Wickes that there were “clear signs” the firm’s aggressive push to grow the profile of its New York office, internally and externally, was succeeding.
Wickes said the firm was now winning increasing levels of work on the US end of significant deals such as ABN. A team from Linklaters New York is also involved in the defence of mining company Rio Tinto on the bid by rival Billiton.
Wickes added that internal figures reported to him this week, tracking billings originations, showed that instructions in the New York office now flowed, “in multiple directions”.
“We’re now seeing what had always been the underpinning of our New York strategy come much more clearly into focus,” added Wickes. “That is for the office not to be merely a service arm for the network or a standalone outpost, but a fully integrated part of the whole firm.”