A&O’s National Grid panel win pays off

Allen & Overy (A&O) acted on its first instruction for National Grid since its appointment to the power giant’s revamped legal panel earlier this year.

The magic circle firm snatched the mandate on the sale of National Grid’s meter reading and installation business OnStream to Macquarie Bank.

The utility company said it was selling OnStream for £274m to Macquarie, which already has investments in UK infrastructure assets including the M6 toll road.

OnStream, which provides meter-reading services for the ’big six’ UK utility companies and covers more than four million gas meters across the country, was set up by National Grid in 2001.

A&O fielded corporate partner Richard Hough to advise National Grid. The company also relied on advice from in-house lawyer Deborah Waller.

“This is the first deal A&O has done for National Grid since being appointed to its corporate panel earlier this year,” Hough said, adding that the deal was a “pivotal juncture for the smart metering market in the UK”.

Travers Smith corporate finance head Spencer Summerfield acted for Macquarie. Summerfield previously advised the Australian bank on deals including the ­acquisition of Select Service Partner, the travel concessions business of catering group Compass, for £1.82bn five years ago (The Lawyer, 17 April 2006).

A&O replaced Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as one of National Grid’s two ­corporate advisers, alongside Linklaters, following a panel review earlier this year that saw a significantly reduced number of firms make the cut (The Lawyer, 28 January).