Mammoth exercise that required a Godden touch

Corporate lawyer Richard Godden led the Linklaters team which advised Coopers & Lybrand in its merger with Price Waterhouse.

Godden claimed that, because Coopers' structure was more akin to a federation than Price Waterhouse's tight-knit make-up, bringing Coopers into the network was a “logistical exercise of mammoth proportions”. He added that an innovative approach had been required to decide on the appropriate location and form of the international organisation.

A team from Herbert Smith led by Stephen Barnard is also claiming a leading role in the mega-merger. But while Coopers stuck with Linklaters throughout, Price Waterhouse brought in Slaughter and May to advise on the UK merger.

Herbert Smith, however, advised both firms on European competition issues.

Whichever firm took the most leading role, both sides have worked into the night over the past ten months since the Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand merger was announced. And both had a hand in getting 525 different entities across 100 jurisdictions to sign up to the new global network last week.

Coopers' team was also advised by US firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed and Swiss firm Homburger RechstanswAlte.

PW was advised by US firm Cravath Swaine & Moore.