Norton Rose is floating on air

Norton Rose’s Mark Bankes should crack out the champagne this evening, assuming he has the energy.

The corporate finance partner has just lived through a week that began with a float and ended with one of the year’s highest-profile takeover bids.

Bankes is leading the Norton Rose team advising Aer Lingus – alongside Dublin firm Arthur Cox – on the defence of Ryanair’s audacious bid for its rival. The high-profile battle follows the float of Aer Lingus on the Irish and London stock exchanges, a deal on which Bankes and fellow corporate finance partner Jill Gauntlett advised the part state-owned air carrier.

Now Bankes has to roll up his sleeves and get cracking on the defence of his client, assuming the deal is not immediately blocked by the Irish competition authorities.

Not so Gauntlett, however. She left Norton Rose this week on maternity leave. Prompting an entirely different excuse for bubbly altogether.