Slaughters ramps up its best friends links

Slaughter and May is getting closer to its two 'best friends' firms by
developing a tripartite set of documents with Hengeler Mueller and Davis
Polk & Wardwell.
The firm is working with its best friends in Germany and Silicon Valley to
produce documentation in a form similar to that used by West Coast
investors so that it can be replicated in Europe.
London-based corporate partner Jeff Twentyman said the three firms had
identified the need for better documentation.
He said: “It is a response to the fact that last year all three of our
firms had some difficulties with people thinking that the way in which they
structure deals in the US was readily exportable to Europe and that's not
always true.”
The new documentation will be used in part to market to US private equity
houses, many of which have been referred to the City firm by Davis Polk.
Twentyman said: “There are cultural and legal differences between Europe
and the US. So the project was to see in abstract, without the pressures of
doing a deal, how we could get close to replicating something of how they
like to do things over there as opposed to the UK and German model.
“We are making it available to investment houses which are setting up over
here, giving it to the sort of investment banks that have a sponsorship
role and trying to use it to educate our own lawyers and investment houses.”
He described the move as further example of the close way the firm works
with its best friends now. He added that they had been considering
extending the project to Spain and Italy.
The other European members of the firm's best friend alliance network
include Spain's Uría & Menéndez, France's Bredin Prat and Italy's
Bonelli Erede Pappalardo.
The firm has also just closed a deal for easyRentacar, the car rental
company run by EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou. Partner Elizabeth
Holden led the £26m private equity financing deal, the first Slaughter
and May has carried out for the client. EasyJet has in the past used Denton
Wilde Sapte and, for its flotation, Norton Rose.