Hammond Suddards Edge has lost out to Eversheds' Nottingham office on acting for Magic Moments Internet on its acquisition of German-based One 2 One Advertising and Telecommunications.
The AIM-listed internet company, soon to change its name to Host Europe, is a long-term client of Hammonds' Manchester office. However, Eversheds won the work after undergoing a week-long tender process where both firms submitted information on capability and price.
The Eversheds team, led by corporate finance partner Ben Johnson, has previously acted for WebFusion, which was taken over by Magic Moments in May last year.
On that deal, Patrick Jolly, a corporate finance partner at Hammonds' Manchester office, who was also the client relationship partner, acted for Magic Moments. But Jolly left the firm in September to join client SurfControl.
In March last year Jolly replaced Jay Birch, an M&A partner who previously headed the relationship before joining Haarmann Hemmelrath's London office.
Magic Moments' chief operating officer Frank Rejwan admits that the rapid change in the client relationship partner had a bearing on why the company decided to instruct Eversheds for the first time.
He says: "Maybe I would have made that decision [to use Hammonds] if it hadn't happened. I would have felt more allegiance to the firm."
Rejwan adds: "My decision to go with Eversheds on the German transaction was made because of the way it would deal with an international transaction in Germany, because it has a German desk in London."
Rejwan says that another factor was that Eversheds had previously acted on the other side of the table from Magic Moments and so could advise from a different perspective.
One source says that the main reason Eversheds won the work is because of cost. He says: "I have a feeling that this work was done on a price. With any company in this sector, they cannot afford to lay out large fees."
Rejwan says: "It was a consideration, but was not the highest one on the list." He says that there was very little difference in price.
He adds that the company still intends to use Hammonds.
Hammonds was unavailable for comment.