Smiths uses Wragges on £33m sale

Wragge & Co has completed its first major corporate transaction for aerospace company Smiths Group, which traditionally sends its high-value work to Allen & Overy (A&O).

Wragges has acted on a number of smaller Smiths Group transactions, with a value of up to £10m in the last 18 months, but this disposal of the Lodge business to Meggitt for £33m was by far the largest.

Anita Shah, an assistant at Wragges, led the legal team in the sale of Lodge, which specialises in sensors and igniters for the aerospace industry. Shah said that Wragges competitively tendered for the work, but would not comment on the names of the rival firms.

She added: “We're discussing with Smiths Group about future instructions. We've no reason to think that this is the last instruction.”

Smiths Group's legal affairs director Clare Shepherd said that traditionally A&O has handled a lot of its large UK corporate work. “We still instruct A&O, but we decided to use Wragges because we have an established relationship with it. It does a good job for us, but we use a number of firms,” she said. The A&O partners Smiths Group uses are Eileen Kelliher and Stephen Pollard.

Earlier this year Shepherd instructed Linklaters for the first time. She also uses Macfarlanes for corporate and Stephenson Harwood partner Sunil Gadhia for UK litigation.

Wragges was first instructed on the Lodge disposal in March and the bulk of the work took place over the summer. There were a number of rival purchasers but Shepherd said that the transaction took place relatively smoothly.

Shah's corporate team was supported by pensions partner Glyn Ryland, corporate partner Christopher Hughes, and environment and property partner Lee McBride.