World Online may be doing battle with its investors, but that has not stopped it hooking up with Italian internet operator Tiscali. The £5.9bn deal comes only months after World Online’s much-hyped IPO on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. Investors are claiming that the company did not present all the evidence it should have in its prospectus.

But for Linklaters Dutch member firm De Brauw, World Online has been nothing but good news. First used in the IPO, it has been retained to represent it against the investors and is now making its third appearance on the Tiscali deal.

This has been a deal that has underlined the importanceof European coverage. No fewer than three Linklaters & Alliance member firms have worked on the deal. Allen & Overy also called on its Italian office as well as using its Amsterdam office. For Linklaters, this can only be a spur to get its European merger moving – if the deal was to be done after 1 January 2001 it would be handled by one firm and, more importantly, one central profit pool.