Herbies wins Hypo

Herbert Smith has completed its first deal for new client Hypo Real Estate Bank International.

The City firm advised Hypo on an £88m bid facility made available to Winten to finance its recommended offer for property investment group Estate & General.

Herbert Smith was picked as one of Hypo’s preferred advisers after it was spun off from HypoVereinsbank (HVB) last year. The instruction was a major coup for the firm, which has been attempting to boost the profile of its finance division.

Herbert Smith won the mandate because Ewen Fergusson, the finance partner who led the deal for Hypo, dealt with HVB’s London office on an unsuccessful bid facility before the banks demerged.

Gleiss Lutz, Herbert Smith’s German alliance member, also has a relationship with HVB, but Fergusson said that his firm won the Hypo mandate purely on merit. “We’ve been focusing a lot on acquisition financing so we’re pleased with this deal. It shows we’re able to compete with the best law firms,” he said.

It is also understood that Allen & Overy, which has historically had almost an exclusive relationship with HVB, and Clifford Chance were also successful in securing mandates to advise Hypo.

The Lawyer understands Nicholson Graham and Jones has been retained to advise Hypo on less complex deals.

Winten, which is a subsidiary of Trafalgar Overseas, was advised by Travers Smith Braithwaite.