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Bradford & Bingley in cost-cutting review as Dresdner picks its long-term adviser
Linklaters has gained two high-profile real estate clients following competitive tenders. The firm has been app-ointed by both Bradford & Bingley and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. The Bradford & Bingley appointment relates to a full-scale review of the bank's property portfolio to cut costs. Linklaters partner James Knox led the firm's pitch in December and won the appointment against competitors including Lovells. Knox acted for Mapeley on the acquisition of Abbey National's branch network and offices. He is also advising Mapeley on its property outsourcing deal with the Inland Revenue and HM Customs & Excise, after Nabarro Nathanson lost the work last year (The Lawyer, 10 September 2001). Matthew Stone of property consultants Nelson Bakewell ran the tender on behalf of Bradford & Bingley. He said: "We're looking at every single option. We're looking at all sorts of innovative ways to own and occupy property on Bradford & Bingley's behalf. We need to bounce all of that off our lawyers to make sure that it complies with regulations." Stone said that the bank was not historically allied to a particular firm for property work. The client win for Linklaters coincides with the firm's appointment to advise German investment bank Dresdner on real estate requirements. Partner Julian Innes-Taylor led this successful pitch. Dresdner's Ros Bryant, head of global administrative services, said: "We had a beauty parade to find out with whom we wanted to make a long-term relationship. Over the years we've used various people and we decided it was time to build one relationship." Bryant said that she was attracted by the spread of Linklaters' offers, ranging from small property management to strategic advice. In the past, the Kleinwort arm of the bank used Forsters for property work. "We're a different business now," said Bryant. "We're not going to Forsters any more. We've decided to build one relationship."