Collins Stewart, the UK’s largest stockbroker, has called on Rosenblatt Solicitors as it considers a multi-million-pound takeover bid.
The group, which has seen income from its capital markets business plummet, has announced it is in talks with an unnamed company.
Potential bidders include Japanese bank Nomura, which uses Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Australia’s Macquarie, which has previously called on a raft of firms including Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy. Any deal would have to value Collins Stewart at more than its market price of £250m.
The corporate team at Rosenblatt is being headed by senior partner Ian Rosenblatt. The firm’s relationship with Collins Stewart dates back to 2003, when chairman Terry Smith sued the Financial Times (FT) over its coverage of an employment dispute with former employee James Middleweek.
Smith used Schillings against the FT but Rosenblatt in separate litigation against Middleweek.
Rosenblatt was retained as legal adviser and in 2006 it represented the bank when it spun off its inter-broker business, Tullett Prebon, and floated on the London Stock Exchange.
Collins Stewart’s market value has fallen by 60 per cent in the past year because of a decline in the number of new issues on AIM – a significant source of income.