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Tarlo Lyons' new e-business and banking technology department has done its biggest deal to date - advising new online foreign exchange trading portal Atriax on its UK debut.
Launched in the UK on 29 June, Atriax provides banks and corporates with the opportunity to trade large amounts of foreign currencies online. The Tarlo Lyons advisory team was led by head of e-business and banking technology Andrew Rigby. The instruction was handled entirely by the nascent e-business and banking department, established in February. Before that, all e-business work was carried out by the firm's e-business and digital media department. The department was then split into two separate entities: digital media and e-business and banking. Rigby said: "It became clear that digital media wasn't sitting well with e-business, so the firm decided to exploit its good record of providing banking clients with technology-related advice." Atriax is a limited company in the UK and a limited liability company in the US. It is the result of a joint venture between Citibank, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Reuters. Given the major international players behind Atriax, this deal validates Tarlo Lyons' decision to give financial e-business more status within the firm. Atriax's founders set it up as a private company a year ago and it was at this point that it gained individual legal status. Tarlo Lyons became Atriax's legal adviser on a recommendation by Citibank, one of the founders and an existing client of the firm. The advice Rigby's team provided Atriax with involved all the legal aspects of setting up the electronic portal in the UK. This ranged from advising the company on aspects of the technologies used to set up the portal to giving ongoing general legal advice. At its launch, Atriax had 66 international banks and 30 large corporates signed up as members. Two months before its launch, the company signed up Brobeck Hale and Dorr to deal with the negotiations and licensing agreements between itself and its members. Brobeck head of intellectual property and IT Pierre-Andre Dubois led the team. The firm was approached by Atriax's general counsel, previously a Brobeck partner, to take on the work. Both Brobeck and Tarlo Lyons are understood to have been retained as legal advisers to Atriax. Atriax's general counsel was unavailable to comment on the issue.