White & Case raids on Weil Gotshal and CC bear fruit

White & Case has revealed the first clutch of deals it has completed since wooing Maurice Allen and his team from Weil Gotshal & Manges.

The new team, which also includes former Clifford Chance capital markets partner Colin Potter, has already started using the rest of the firm’s international network to scoop finance transactions for London.

The first deal was an acquisition financing deal for Morgan Stanley and Chase Manhattan on the provision of a £1.3bn facility for NTL Communications for the acquisition of UK cable assets from Cable & Wireless Communications’ residential cable business.

Allen led the deal alongside his former Weil Gotshal colleague, capital markets partner Rachel Hatfield. The work was netted by New York partner David Joyce, who already had a long-standing relationship in the US with the clients, and the structuring of the deal had already been completed before Allen’s group joined.

Allen says: “New York called us before we started, saying they had this deal which was now becoming pretty active. It’s been at the structuring stage and now we’re going to start documenting. It would have been a problem if we weren’t going to be around, because they needed it to be done in London.”

Other deals included acting for Finnish industrial supplier Metso Corporation on its euro2bn (£1.16bn) acquisition of Svedela; the London-based acquisition finance lawyers were then instructed on the euro1.4bn (£800m) financing of the acquisition. The client was originally a client of Helsinki partner Petri Haussila.

Potter says: “Metso needed to raise finance in order to complete the acquisition, and in the past White & Case wouldn’t have done that work, it would have gone to another firm. But now we’ve got acquisition finance lawyers.”

Potter is also working with London White & Case partner Margaret Cole and Paris partner Gilles Peigney to advise the Mezzanine Creditors’ Steering Committee in relation to issues surrounding the receivership of the Finelist Group, which was acquired earlier this year by Autodis of France in a public to private transaction.

The committee is led by BNP Paribas, and though Ashurst Morris Crisp acted for both the senior and the mezzanine on the acquisition, the mezzanine called in its own lawyers for the receivership.

The firm is also acting for Morgan Stanley on the financing of US private equity house Apollo’s $900m (£617m) acquisition of a division of the Shell Corporation. The deal was structured and syndicated under US law by the firm’s lawyers in New York.

The partners on that deal are ex-Weil Gotshal lawyer Kate Allchurch, New York partner David Bilkis, and Mike Goetz, a US partner who transferred to London in May from the New York office.