Shearman, Wachtell in Merrill Lynch takeover

Shearman, Wachtell in Merrill Lynch takeoverShearman & Sterling‘s New York office has advised long-standing client Merrill Lynch on its $50bn (£28bn) sale to Bank of America over the weekend.

Bank of America was advised by a team from Slaughter & May’s US best friend, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, that included corporate partners Nicholas Demmo, Edward Herlihy, Richard Kim, Lawrence Makow, Steven Rosenblum, Craig Wasserman and Richard Kim.

Shearman’s team was led by New York M&A partners John Madden, John Marzulli and Scott Petepiece.

Shearman London corporate partner Lois Moore (pictured) explained: “Merrill is a long-standing relationship of Shearman’s.”

It is not yet known which way the future legal work of the merged giant bank will go.

The combined Bank of America and Merrill Lynch will be the largest financial services institution in the world.

Bank of America was reported to have been bidding for Lehman Brothers over the weekend, but is to have opted for Merrill Lynch instead yesterday.

As a result of the failed bail-out, Lehman Brothers has filed for creditor protection in the US and gone into administration in the UK today (as reported on 15 September). Lehman’s UK and US administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) are being advised by Linklaters and Weil Gotshal & Manges respectively.

Last week Wachtell also led the deal on the US Government’s takeover of beleaguered US mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (as reported on 9 September).