Freshfields injuncted on M&S bid

Slaughter and May has secured an injunction preventing Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer from acting for Philip Green in his bid for Marks & Spencer.

However Freshfields counsel Michael Brindle QC of Fountain Court Chambers appealed the decision immediately.

The injunction has now been stayed until a hearing scheduled for 10.30am tomorrow morning (3 June).

In an extraordinary move, Mr Justice Lawrence Collins granted the injunction which was requested by M&S on two grounds. Firstly that there was a conflict of interest in Freshfields acting for Green against M&S since the law firm is still retained by the retailer.

Also because of the firm’s past work for M&S, it was ruled that confidential information was put in jeopardy by Freshfields’ acting for Green .

Freshfields had provided advice to former Asda fashion guru George Davies who subsequently joined M&S, there was an “actual or potential conflict of interest”.

Freshfields argued that the conflict was theoretical.

In the judgement, it was also revealed that over the five years that Freshfields has acted for M&S, it has earned between £1m and £1.5m in legal fees.

Ken MacLean QC was counsel for Slaughters and M&S.

A spokesperson at Freshfields said: “We are considering our position in consultation with our client.”