Magic circle firms scoop roles on mega £5.6bn insurance merger

In what is likely to be one of the biggest public M&A deals of the year, insurance giants Aviva and Friends Life look set to seal a £5.6bn tie-up.

The deal is good news for magic circle firms Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters, which have both scooped a role on the deal.  If it goes ahead, it’ll likely benefit their pockets as well as their client rosters.

On another massive public merger this year – Carphone Warehouse’s marriage to Dixons RetailOsborne Clarke is understood to have earned £1.5m for the former, and Linklaters £2.3m for the latter.

The move is not such good news for Clifford Chance, which A&O bumped off of Aviva’s revamped elite plc panel last year. A&O now sits alongside Slaughter and May as the insurer’s preferred go-to legal advisers on bet-the-company deals.

Linklaters also has an existing relationship with both Aviva and Friends Life, having a stronghold on the former’s so-called core panel of four firms, and recently advising Friends Life on its recent disposal of Lombard to Blackstone.

See last year’s feature to get the inside story on Aviva’s last panel review. 

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