Linklaters has sealed its first major acquisition for United Technologies Corporation (UTC) since being appointed as preferred legal adviser by the US conglomerate 18 months ago.
The magic circle firm advised UTC on its acquisition of Chubb, previously part of the demerged Williams Group. It is expected that Slaughter and May, which advised Chubb, will lose the client when it is integrated into UTC’s European network.
In late 2001, UTC brought in Linklaters as preferred adviser in a number of European jurisdictions. In the UK, the company also appointed Lincoln’s Inn firm Edwin Coe for its commercial work.
UTC has four major UK subsidiaries – Pratt & Whitney, Carrier, Otis and Sikorsky – all of which have substantial activities in the UK but no in-house legal team. There is a small in-house team in Paris, but the Chubb acquisition was driven from the US.
Linklaters’ UTC relationship partner Jeremy Parr advised on the deal. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton provided regulatory advice, but Linklaters’ London-based US lawyers advised on all other US aspects. Cleary is one of UTC’s main advisers in the US and represented the company when it intervened as a complainant in the blocked GE-Honeywell merger.
The Williams Group was a longstanding client of Slaughters when it demerged its UK and international holdings into Chubb and Kidde in 2000. Slaughters continued to represent both companies until late 2001, when the magic circle firm lost out to Baker & McKenzie, which took over the relationship with the globally-focused Kidde.