Ashursts loses British Biotech as A&O steps in

Ashurst Morris Crisp has lost out to Allen & Overy (A&O) following a management reshuffle at British Biotech


A&O was brought on board by Peter Fellner, the company’s new chairman, when former chief executive Elliot Goldstein was ousted late last year.

A&O has been brought in at a good time, because British Biotech has just sealed a £52m merger with rival RiboTargets. The firm acted on the merger and is now in a good position to gain further work as the biotech sector consolidates.

Slaughter and May has also worked for British Biotech in the past, but Ashursts was brought in on the company’s last big deal, its unsuccessful bid for MorphoSys. The client partner at Ashursts is Michael Robbins.

However, when Fellner arrived in the latest of a series of key management changes at British Biotech, he brought his law firm with him. A&O has acted for Celltech, of which Fellner has been chief executive since 1993.