Clifford Chance, Linklaters battle A&O for ISDA roles

Clifford Chance and Linklaters have muscled in on Allen & Overy‘s (A&O) longstanding relationship with the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) as the organisation has expanded its group of preferred global counsel.

ISDA has abandoned its one-firm approach in favour of A&O’s magic circle rivals and US firms, such as Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

ISDA general counsel David Geen said: “There’s a very longstanding relationship between ISDA and A&O and this is still very important. As the organisation has grown and the work we do has developed, we’ve also been instructing other firms because of the expertise they have in specific areas.”

Clifford Chance is now ISDA’s firm of choice for property derivative projects and Islamic finance. Last year Clifford Chance partner Habib Motani advised ISDA on its sharia-compliant master agreement.

A&O partner Ed Murray said: “While other firms have received more mandates from ISDA in recent years, we still have the bulk of the work and advise on the large-scale projects.”

ISDA has also vowed to double the size of its UK, US and Asia legal teams (The Lawyer, 11 February).