A&O gets closer to Lloyds TSB as Linklaters scoops Land Securities

Allen & Overy (A&O) has advised the lead arrangers on a £1.5bn loan to Land Securities – the UK's largest property company.
A&O is acting for Lloyds TSB Capital Markets, Barclays Capital, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Salomon Brothers International.
Land Securities is taking out the loan to return more than £500m of capital to shareholders, and is using the balance as working capital.
A&O banking partner Trevor Borthwick led the deal. He said that although A&O acts for Barclays Capital, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Salomon Brothers International on a regular basis, work for Lloyds is less frequent. This is perhaps due to the fact that Lloyds is one of the less active arrangers in the market. Despite this, A&O won the work after acting for Lloyds on a previous Land Securities deal.
The deal was signed on 20 May – just a week after A&O had taken instruction for the arrangers. “It was a significant achievement for the team to turn around such a large deal in such a short space of time,” said Borthwick. He was assisted on the deal by A&O associates Thomas Costa and Jonathan Lawrence.
Linklaters acted for Land Securities, with corporate partner Carlton Evans and banking partner Claire Watson leading the deal.
It is understood that the return of capital is the first piece of major corporate work that Linklaters has advised Land Securities on.
Land Securities' in-house team was not involved with the deal as it only handles property work. Instead, the firm was instructed by the company's board.
Land Securities' move is expected to put pressure on other property companies to follow suit. Borthwick said: “There's a prevailing sentiment in the sector that this could signal further similar returns of capital to investors on the part of property companies.”