Simpson Thacher dropped on Microsoft’s Yahoo! bid

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has lost its plum role advising Microsoft on its $46.4bn (£23.91bn) hostile bid for internet giant Yahoo!

The firm has been forced to step aside in favour of rival Sullivan & Cromwell because of a conflict. Simpson had been working until late last week to resolve the conflict but was ultimately unable to do so.

In a statement yesterday (20 February), Simpson confirmed it had withdrawn from its representation of Microsoft in connection with the company’s offer for Yahoo!

“We hold Microsoft and its team in the highest regard,” Pete Ruegger, Simpson’s chairman said in the statement. “However, in order for us to fulfil our ethical obligations to each of our clients, it became necessary for us to withdraw from this representation.”

Ruegger added that client confidentiality prevented it from commenting further.

Sullivan’s team on the transaction includes corporate partners James Morphy, Duncan McCurrach and Alexandra Korry in New York along with Eric Krautheimer in Los Angeles.

The lawyer tasked with defending Yahoo! On the deal is Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom’s Palo Alto-based partner Ken King.