Linklaters scoops Liberty work

Linklaters has scooped the corporate advisory work for luxury department store Liberty, leaving Sinclair Roche & Temperley and SJ Berwin & Co out in the cold.

Sinclair Roche and SJ Berwin had advised South African investor Brian Myerson and the Liberty family respectively on their successful fight against the existing board of the company last year.

Neither Sinclair Roche partner Richard Thomas nor SJ Berwin partner Robert Burrow, who were the lead partners, would comment on the news of Linklaters' appointment.

The boardroom dispute flared up because of concerns about the company's financial performance and also the board's plans for redevelopment of the West End store.

Myerson and the Liberty family used their shareholdings to oust former chairman Denis Cassidy and block the redevelopment plans. Shortly afterwards, all of the company's executive directors resigned.

Liberty's previous legal advisers, Slaughter and May, had agreed, along with the company's other professional advisers, to resign if the existing board was defeated.

Slaughter and May's resignation took effect after a transitional period to allow Philip Bowman, Cassidy's replacement as chairman, to appoint new advisers.

A spokesman for Liberty was not prepared to reveal how the decision to appoint Linklaters was reached.