Herbert Smith eyes up Canal Plus-BSkyB tie

Herbert Smith is riding high on Rupert Murdoch's potential thrust into Europe, as speculation increases over a merger between British Sky Broadcasting and French-based Canal Plus.

The firm, corporate legal adviser to BSkyB, refuses to comment on any involvement in the potential merger, which would create a company with a combined market capitalisation of about $23.3bn (u14.6bn).

A spokesperson for the television giant declined to comment on the talks.

But Deanna Bates, head of the legal and business affairs department, was out of the country on an urgent business matter, according to a source at BSkyB.

Meanwhile, Herbert Smith is advising the Wembley boardroom rebels who are opposing the proposed u103m sale of Wembley Stadium after three non-executive directors, who are hoping investors will block the sale, took independent advice from the firm.