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<i>News and the city</i>: DLA buys media rival while Freshfields cleans up underground

15 April 2005

DLA Piper acquires rival team
DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary has continued its quest to become the world’s biggest law firm by acquiring the entire media and intellectual property team of top-20 firm Denton Wilde Sapte (DWS).
The move, which will swell DLA Piper’s media team to 420 lawyers, sees 11 partners, 18 lawyers, four trainees and 12 support staff join the UK/US firm’s London office. The partners are Simon Levine, Neville Cordell, Ken Dearsley, Nick Fitzpatrick, Mark Gay, Simon Gough, Chris Hanson, Bonnie Ramsey, Michael Ridley, Askandar Samad and Nicholas West.
DLA Piper, now ranked third in the world in terms of size, also benefits from a large proportion of clients moving across with the DWS media team. These include NBC, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, the FA Premier League, Honda and Warner Brothers.

London Underground break-up a winner for City firms
City law firms picked up a large portion of the £900m spent on the part-privatisation of the London Underground.
Figures released in a report by the Commons public accounts committee show that Freshfields topped the list of advisers, picking up £29.2m for legal advice to London Underground. Legal advice given to Metronet and Tube Lines – the two consortia now in charge of maintenance and upgrading the tube under the public private partnership – came to a cost of £20.2m and £21.4m respectively.
CMS Cameron McKenna and Ashurst advised Metronet, while Lovells and Norton Rose worked on behalf of Tube Lines.

Deals

  • City firm Lawrence Graham LLP has advised Redevco UK on the £325m securitisation of a large portion of its real estate portfolio. The portfolio consists of 53 properties spread throughout the UK, including retail outlets, offices and shopping centre units. The deal resulted in special purpose vehicle Redevco Original Commercial Securitisation issuing £325m of bonds.
  • East Anglian law firm Mills & Reeve has acted for Daventry and South Northampton Primary Care Trust on the £26m PFI project for a new community hospital in Daventry. The contract was awarded to a consortium headed by United Medical Enterprises Investment Co Ltd and work will proceed immediately.
  • Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy LLP is advising Marlborough Stirling plc on its recommended takeover by Vertex Data Science – a subsidiary of United Utilities. The offer, in the form of a scheme of arrangement, proposes that Vertex pay 42p for each Marlborough share – valuing the outsourcing an technology company at £95.3m. UBS Investment Bank is providing financial advice to Marlborough.
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