Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised Volkswagen and Porsche as the two European car icons took the first step in creating a combined company that could challenge Toyota’s dominance in global auto sales.

The two firms have been guiding the car companies through a dance that started in 2005, when Porsche (advised by its longtime counsel at Freshfields) began acquiring shares of Volkswagen in an attempt to take over VW, according to a previous report by our colleague Julie Triedman.