Nasdaq takes the lead in race for LSE

Nasdaq looks to be the dark horse in the race for the London Stock Exchange (LSE), with arch rival the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) trailing behind. The US technology stock exchange upped its stake in the LSE last week, purchasing two packages of shares to give it a 24.1 per cent overall stake. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has taken the lead advisory role for Nasdaq, which has successfully created a large stumbling block for the NYSE. The Skadden team, consisting of lawyers from the New York and London offices, is being led by New York corporate partner Eric Friedman and London-based corporate partner Michael Hatchard. The NYSE, represented by Watchtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, has long been touted as a potential bidder for the LSE, but that is now looking increasingly unlikely.