Linklaters pips Freshfields in China Gold pitch amid African Barrick talks

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  • We at China Gold are delighted, especially because Linklaters will have to work for next to nothing! Various law firms pitched to us, each trying to undercut the other. And even though Linklaters offered to do the whole project for a crippling 20% of what it will actually cost them, we have no intention of even paying that amount! Instead, we will negotiate down after the deal is done. We will also endlessly question interpretation of UK law and expect Linklaters to find "short-cuts" around prohibitions. We will also show no appreciation or understanding of what Linklaters do, and occasionally complain to a particularly senior but non-practising Linklaters partner in China (who helped introduce us) that the lawyers working on the transaction are not "practical" enough.

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  • so, as a losing bidder I am first cheered by these comments. But perhaps there is more to say to brighten the Linklaters day. First, if you make sure it is all going pear shaped very early, then rescue - maybe you are seen as rescuer. Second, always have at least one unguided missile in reserve to be fired at a random moment and so ensure total chaos when agreement is close

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