A raft of U.K. firms have landed top roles advising on Lehman Brothers‘ bankruptcy filing.
U.S. firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges is advising Lehman Brothers in New York, with corporate chief Thomas Roberts and restructuring partner Harvey Miller thought to be advising the bank on the bankruptcy proceedings.
In the U.K., Linklaters is advising administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers, with restructuring Chief Tony Bugg, banking partner Richard Holden and private equity partner David Ereira leading.
Freshfields is advising the Bank of England on U.K. regulatory aspects of the deal, with restructuring partner Nick Segal and finance partner Michael Raffan taking lead roles.
Raffan also headed the Freshfields team advising the Bank of England on Northern Rock’s 50 billlion pound liquidity support program earlier this year.
The Financial Services Authority has also drafted in legal support with a team from Lovells including commercial litigation partner Christopher Grierson, restructuring partner Laurence Crowley and Alexander Wood advising.
Clifford Chance meanwhile is understood to have advised Barclays, which walked away from discussions to buy the stricken bank over the weekend before the bank filed for Chapter 11.
The bank’s collapse has raised questions about why the U.S. government did not step in to offer support — as it did with Bear Stearns and failing mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Norton Rose finance partner Peter Snowdon questioned: “What will be the implications now for European banks? I assume the Federal Reserve has come to the point where it feels it cannot keep going on like this; that it has to draw the line somewhere and let the market take the pain.”
However, one banking partner with a major Wall Street firm was more optimistic, saying: “The good news is we have seen this movie before. A lot of it has happened because the generation under 40 has not seen this happening before. The crisis in 1972-1975 was terrible for anyone working in New York City. The City of New York went bankrupt.”
“The U.S. government has done exactly the right thing — they did not give public money to save Lehman because it was not beneficial for the broader financial system — as it was with Bear Stearns.”
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