Virgin choose A&O for Northern Rock

Allen & Overy (A&O) has landed another role on Northern Rock by advising the Virgin Group on its proposals to the beleaguered mortgage adviser.

Virgin’s group general counsel Josh Bayliss confirmed to The Lawyer that the magic circle firm was advising the consortium led by Sir Richard Branson.

Virgin this afternoon (12 October) made a rescue proposal to the board of Northern Rock, suggesting a cash injection that would see the Newcastle-headquartered bank rebrand as Virgin Money.

A&O is already advising Northern Rock on its funding facility from the Bank of England.

Bayliss said he was happy that this did not present a conflict of interest as it was a separate transaction.

Leading advice to Virgin at A&O is corporate partner Andrew Ballheimer.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has already raised eyebrows by advising Northern Rock on corporate matters despite already having advised the Bank of England opposite A&O until at least 18 September (see The Lawyer, 8 October). The Bank then instructed Clifford Chance.