UK firms line up for Icelandic bank roles

UK firms line up for Icelandic bank rolesDenton Wilde Sapte, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Slaughter and May have snared key roles as the UK arms of two Icelandic banks at the heart of the country’s financial crisis are put into administration by regulators.

Kaupthing Singer & Friedland and Heritable Bank, a UK subsidiary of Iceland’s Landsbanki, have both gone into administration this week after action by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to protect savers.

Freshfields is understood to be advising the administrators of both organisations, Ernst & Young, as well as the Bank of England through a Chinese Wall.

Denton Wilde Sapte is conflict counsel for Ernst & Young where Freshfields is ruled out and is also understood to be advising the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) on potential compensation for UK customers of the Icelandic banks.

Allen & Overy partner Mark Sterling is advising Kaupthing in the UK while Slaughter and May is advising the Treasury led by partner Charles Randell.

Iceland’s banking sector has been in turmoil since the country’s government took control of Landsbanki on Tuesday.

Dentons is also thought to be advising the FSCS in relation to the 300,000 UK customers of Landsbanki’s Icesave.

The Freshfields team representing the Bank of England is led by corporate partners Michael Raffan and Frank Miller alongside head of global finance Alan Newton and restructuring partner Richard Tett.

Head of restructuring and insolvency Ken Baird is working with restructuring partner Nick Segal and dispute resolution partner Neil Golding on behalf of Ernst & Young.

In Scotland, the FSA has instructed Shepherd & Wedderburn and Tods Murray is representing the Bank of England on the administration of Heritable, which is based in the country.