FTSE shake-up gives Nabarros second 100 client

Nabarro Nathanson has won itself a second FTSE 100 client, without having to lift a finger.

Telecoms company Sema, an existing Nabarros client, joined the top-100 following the FTSE Actuaries Indices Committee's quarterly shake-up of the index this month.

Nabarro's only other FTSE 100 client is property company Land Securities.

The committee relegated five companies from the 100 including British Steel and Blue Circle, both Slaughter and May clients. Linklaters client RMC Group, a builders merchants, and Freshfields client Rank Group, also dropped out.

But Slaughters client Colt Telecom was promoted to the 100 as were two Freshfields clients, Telewest and Southern Electric.

Until recently, Mike Francies at Clifford Chance had been advising the UK cable operator Telewest.

But last year, when market rumours circulated that the American “baby bell” telephone company US West was looking to increase its 30 per cent stake in Telewest, the Telewest board called in Freshfields to advise. Clifford Chance had a conflict because it also advises US West.

Mike Francies is now on gardening leave until he can join Weil Gotshal & Manges. Since Weil Gotshal also acts for US West, Telewest is unlikely to follow Francies.

Herbert Smith lost one client from the FTSE 100, Enterprise Oil and gained one, Securicor.

The shake-up underlines the growing importance of IT and telecoms companies and the decline of UK engineering and heavy industries and indicates why more and more law firms are seeking to gain IT and telecoms expertise.