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Slaughter and May's best friends" />Being good friends with hyper-acquisitive Banco Santander is a relationship worth having, but it can take time to pay dividends.
Just ask blue blooded firm Slaughter and May, which is leading the advice for the Spanish banks 1.25bn Alliance & Leicester approach, but took an age to get there.
The roots of the relationship lie in another friendship way back in 1993, when Slaughters best friend in Spain, Ur?Men?ez, acted for Santander on its acquisition of Spanish rival Banesto.
In parallel to the Ur?Santander bonding, Slaughters developed a longstanding friendship with Abbey and in 1996 advised the National & Provincial building society when it merged into Abbey National (as it was then known).
But in 2004 Santander bought Abbey for 8.9bn, and Ur?faced coming up against Slaughters on the deal table. Each of the best friends was conflicted, and Ur?was forced to pair with Clifford Chance for Santander as a result while Slaughters had to spoon with Spanish firm Perez Llorca for Abbey.
However in 2007, with seemingly every law firm in the world involved or conflicted, all friends were reunited for the RBS consortiums 49bn ABN Amro bid.
With Abbey under the Santander umbrella, Ur?recommended Slaughters act for Santander as part of the consortium.
And finally, on Tuesday (15 July), Santander returned to Slaughters in its bid for Alliance & Leicester. And thats how good friends are made.