Green picks Freshfields for M&S bid

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer corporate partner Barry O’Brien has scooped the City’s hottest deal with a mandate to act for retail entrepreneur Philip Green on his £8bn-plus bid for Marks & Spencer (M&S), displacing usual adviser Allen & Overy.

Shadowing O’Brien’s team is his former partner Tim Emmerson, now at Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy. Emmerson is advising investment banks Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. M&S has hired favoured counsel Slaughter and May corporate partner Nigel Boardman.

Green’s highly leveraged bid will require one of the biggest financing packages in City history. Clifford Chance is advising a consortium of banks, including Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs, HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland.