Clifford Chance is celebrating after landing the lead role advising Barclays Bank on its biggest ever foreign acquisition.

The magic circle firm, which is on Barclays legal panel, is advising the bank on its £2.9bn recommended acquisition of South African bank ABSA.

The much anticipated deal, which was finally announced on Monday (9 May), will involve Barclays acquiring 60 per cent of ABSA’s ordinary shares and will be effected by an inter-conditional scheme of arrangement in respect of 32 per cent and a recommended offer for up to 28 per cent.

Clifford Chance corporate partner Guy Norman who led the team advising Barclays said the deal is interesting because it is made up of two inter-conditional processes and includes a partial offer which is very unusual in the UK.

ABSA is being advised by Linklaters while South African firms Deneys Reitz and Webber Wenzel are providing local law advice to Barclays and ABSA respectively.