Herbies, Stibbe in client first

Herbert Smith and Dutch alliance partner Stibbe have swooped on longstanding Linklaters client Getronics, advising the Dutch IT giant for the first time.

The firms have just completed a e100m (£69.8m) convertible bond issue for Getronics, a company Stibbe got to know while advising its banks on a similar bond issue in February this year.

Linklaters has a strong relationship with Getronics in structured finance, but after falling out of merger talks with former Dutch alliance firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek two years ago, the magic circle firm now has only a very small Amsterdam presence.

It is understood that Stibbe and Herbert Smith sold themselves to Getronics on the basis of their strong Anglo-Dutch alliance.

Getronics used Linklaters on the February deal, as well as on a e500m (£349m) subordinated convertible bond issue in 2000.

Stibbe partners Jaap Willeumier and Derk Lemstra and Herbert Smith partner Charles Howarth led the cross-border team.

Herbert Smith is trying to ramp up finance, which brought in the least revenue per partner last year, according to The Lawyer 100 2003.