Virgin choose A&O for Northern Rock

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  • Conflicts

    Advising Virgin on acquiring Northern Rock whilst (or so recently having been) advising the latter on its BoE funding surely throws up enormous conflicts of interest regarding:
    1) the mass of confidential information obtained concerning Northern Rock's business, assets and financial position whilst advising Northern Rock,
    2) knowledge of the actual provisions of the agreements with BoE,
    3) advice to Northern Rock on change of control issues under the BoE funding arrangements resulting from a Virgin takeover, etc.

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  • A&O/Northern Rock

    I think it's probably ok if the Virgin consortium is not expecting continuing funding from the Bank of England.
    Obviously A&O would have had to get the consent of the Northern Rock GC to be able to advise Virgin.
    I don't think it's a question of law firms getting bolder on conflicts, I just think that in Northern Rock, and in the credit crunch generally, you're dealing with sophisticated banking clients who will happily give consent. They recognise that these kinds of deals are very complex.

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  • conflict of interest ....really????

    It seems like no one cares that much about Northern Rock clients' welfare. The conflict of interest is not lying in the relation between Virgin, BoE and Northern but in the relation between Northern Rock A&O and the clients of the troubled bank. Clients from the bank can legitimately expect that their interests are taken into consideration. Now there is the risk that their welfare is thrown out of the window for the sake of wheeler dealers.

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