A&O and DLA advise as Primark plans US launch

Budget fashion retailer Primark has turned to Allen & Overy (A&O) and DLA Piper for advice on its first launch into the US following a 26 per cent rise in the chain’s profits.

The fashion chain, owned by Associated British Foods (ABF), turned to A&O’s corporate chairman Richard Cranfield for UK corporate aspects of the deal, with a US team from the firm led by head of US real estate Kevin O’Shea.

According to sources the magic circle firm did not have to pitch for the mandate, given that they were already a longstanding adviser to parent company ABF. 

The UK retailer plans to open in America at the start of 2015, with a 70,000 sq-ft shop in Boston, Massachusetts. DLA Piper is understood to be advising the landlord of the property, with Boston-based real estate partner Anita Agajanian leading a team for DLA.

Primark is one of the largest retailers on the UK high-street, with its business model centered around high fashion at low prices.

However its legal advisers are among the most expensive in the market, with findings by costs lawyer Jim ­Diamond revealing that headline hourly rates for magic circle partners have reached their highest point to date, hitting £850 despite being the worst economic crisis in decades (26 November 2013).