City firms win roles on Government’s bank bailout

City firms win roles on Government's bank bailoutA raft of top City lawyers have been called on to advise on the Government’s £50bn bank rescue scheme.

Some of the biggest names in the magic circle have been handed roles by established clients for what is, in effect, a partial nationalisation of the UK’s banks.

Linklaters is advising two key clients, with banking head Robert Elliott acting for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and relationship partner Jeremy Parr acting for Lloyds TSB.

HBOS is understood to have called on Allen & Overy head of financial institutions Alistair Asher. Asher and Parr were both instructed when Lloyds began merger talks with HBOS last month (, 17 Sept).

The two banks are expected to be the main recipients of the £50bn fund, which will be made available to restore share capital in the banking sector.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is understood to have won a role for longstanding client the Bank of England, led by corporate partners Michael Raffan and Karen Fountain.

The firm is also advising the Bank of England on a separate liquidity scheme, which will see the Government offer short-term loans up to a total of £200bn to encourage banks to start lending to each other. Raffan is working alongside corporate partner Mac Mackenzie on the scheme.

Barclays is understood to have turned to Clifford Chance corporate partner Guy Norman, who also advised on the bank’s attempted takeover of ABN Amro last year
(, March 17 2007).

The Treasury is being represented by Slaughter and May partners Nigel Boardman and Nilufer von Bismarck.