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Meanwhile, Linklaters is understood to have advised longstanding client Lloyds TSB, which has twice walked away from making a formal approach for the beleagured mortgage adviser.
Linklaters’ early involvement in the deal explains its absence up until now on the list of firms that have been called up. Corporate partner Jeremy Parr manages the Lloyds TSB relationship at the magic circle firm.
Parr was unavailable for comment.
Structured finance partner Roger Le Tissier is leading the team for Ogier, which has been one of Northern Rock’s longstanding advisers for banking and regulatory affairs. The Newcastle-headquartered plc also has an offshore subsidiary, Northern Rock Guernsey.
Freshfields’ relationship with Northern Rock dates back 10 years.
A swathe of firms have landed roles on the deal. As first reported by The Lawyer, Allen & Overy (A&O) is advising Northern Rock on emergency funding from the Bank of England, and continues to advise the company on banking issues.
The Bank of England turned to Clifford Chance, after initially being advised by Freshfields (see The Lawyer, 8 October).
US firm Bingham McCutchen is also involved, advising Northern Rock’s creditors on protecting their interests throughout the bank’s crisis.
In addition to Lloyds TSB, several parties have stepped forward expressing an interest in Northern Rock, including Herbert Smith client JC Flowers and Cerberus, which is reportedly being advised by Ashurst.
Today Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group announced that it too was interested in Northern Rock.