One might assume that Reed Smith Warner Cranston won a place as adviser to McDonald's on its purchase of a stake in Pret A Manger due to the recent US merger, but that is not the case. Peter Borrowdale, formerly the head of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal's London office, which closed in September 1999, brought the work with him when he moved to Reed Smith last year. Previous to this transaction, Borrowdale acted on the McDonald's acquisition of coffee chain Aroma in March 1999. This transaction, in which McDonald's took a 33 per cent stake in the upmarket sandwich shop, is relatively small, but it still took a host of law firms to act for McDonald's, which apart from Reed Smith included Slaughter and May for tax issues and Allen & Overy for competition issues. This is one of Reed Smith's most high-profile deals, since there was a lot of consumer scepticism as to why a gourmet sandwich shop should get into bed with a company specialising in convenience food. It will be an interesting one to watch.