Slaughters, Freshfields advise on latest bank bailout

Slaughters, Freshfields advise on latest bank bailoutSlaughter and May has cemented its close ties to the Treasury, advising on the Government’s latest bank bailout package as well as a further governmental investment in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

Slaughters corporate partner Charles Randell led the team advising on the Government’s asset protection programme, which will see the Government insure banks against potential losses on risky loans.

The scheme, which will have an initial budget of £50bn, will be voluntary, but those banks taking it up will have to agree to start lending to companies and consumers.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was also involved in the asset purchase programme with financial services partner Michael Raffan leading a team acting for the Bank of England. Senior partner Guy Morton, global head of finance Alan Newton, antitrust competition and trade partner Andrew Renshaw and corporate partner Mac Mackenzie were all also involved.

On the RBS deal, Slaughters’ Treasury team, which is led by Randell and includes corporate partner Nilufer von Bismarck, financing partner Matthew Tobin, financial regulation partner Ben Kingsley, EU/competition partner William Sibree and tax partners Graham Iversen and Tony Beare, again came into contact with Freshfields.

Freshfields financial institutions head Will Lawes acted for joint sponsors UBS and Merrill Lynch alongside corporate partners Simon Witty, Mark Trapnell and Sarah Murphy.

Linklaters corporate partners Matthew Middleditch and Anne Drummond advised RBS.

The deal saw the Government convert additional preference shares in the bank to ordinary shares. The Government now owns almost 70 per cent of the bank, up from 58 per cent.

Slaughters’ relationship with the Treasury is longstanding and it has been instructed on all the Government department’s credit crunch related mandates. Last year it advised on the Government’s first £50bn bank bailout (8 October).

The firm also acted for the Treasury in relation to the Icelandic banks crisis (8 October).

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