A&O remains top adviser to HBOS

Allen & Overy (A&O) has cemented its relationship with HBOS, according to the latest Hemscott tables, which rank law firms by the number of FTSE100 clients on their books.

The firm has been confirmed as main adviser to the bank, having worked on both its £4bn rights issue and its potential takeover by Lloyds TSB. HBOS has used Linklaters and Clifford Chance in the past.

A&O was not listed as the bank’s main adviser in the rankings for the previous quarter, despite relationship partner Alistair Asher’s close ties with the bank.

Elsewhere, UK firms tightened their grip on the country’s largest companies.
Slaughter and May remained at the top of the table, gaining one client to take its total number to 28.

The firm added insurance company Aviva after advising on its $1bn (£502.3m) outsourcing deal in August.

Herbert Smith climbed to second, with 20 FTSE100 clients, having added new entrant Stagecoach Group.

The addition of HBOS saw A&O rise a single place, although the firm could lose out if the Lloyds merger goes ahead.

Linklaters remained joint second with 20 clients, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer did not add to its 16 clients and stayed in fourth.

Ashurst saw one of its companies, Carphone Warehouse, fall out of the FTSE100 but managed to remain in sixth place.

During the last year, ­Herbert Smith has been the most successful in ­attracting the UK’s largest companies.

In November 2007, it had 16 FTSE100 clients and was languishing in fifth place. Since then it has added companies including Man Group, and is now ­second only to FTSE ­powerhouse Slaughter and May.

Linklaters’ FTSE100 clients had the highest ­market capitalisation, with a total market value of £399bn. However, this figure is down from £496bn.

Dundas & Wilson’s clients saw the biggest fall in value, from £39bn to £17bn.