Freshfields advises BP on Gulf of Mexico oil spill

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has snared a leading role acting for BP in its defence of any potential takeovers in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

London corporate head Mark Rawlinson is one of a number of partners forming the advisory team at the magic circle firm. Rawlinson has been involved in a number of high-profile takeover defences, including for Manchester United on its sale to the Glazer family in 2005.

The BP mandate will be seen as a blow to magic circle rival Linklaters, which has previously acted as the company’s top corporate counsel. The Lawyer understands that an internal email at Linklaters confirmed that the firm still expects to act for BP on future corporate matters.

Hebert Smith will reportedly join Freshfields in a secondary role for BP if any hostile bid is tabled.

All firms involved were contacted by The Lawyer, but declined to comment.