Weil Gotshal beats CC to u8bn telecoms deal

Weil Gotshal & Manges has beaten Clifford Chance in the fight to advise MediaOne on its multi-billion pound sale of One2One to Deutsche Telekom.

The u8.4bn deal is the first major transaction Weil Gotshal has handled in the UK since Mike Francies, head of corporate and joint head of the London office, left Clifford Chance last November as corporate finance partner, taking MediaOne with him.

Francies says Clifford Chance is still advising MediaOne on some UK issues, but he says he had worked with the client when it divested its stake in Telewest when it merged with AT&T this year.

Francies says Weil Gotshal handles work for MediaOne in the US. But the UK office has only begun advising the company when he joined.

Asked if he took MediaOne from Clifford Chance, Francies says: “That is an aggressive way to put it. But yes, I did.”

The deal involves the sale of One2One, a partnership between MediaOne and Cable & Wireless.

The 11-strong Weil Gotshal team was led by Francies and corporate partner Paul Claydon with US tax partners Kenneth Heitner and Helyn Goldstein in support.

Clifford Chance was unavailable for comment.