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September 17, 2008 1:00 PM

Cleary Gottlieb, Clifford Chance, Simpson Thacher, and S&C Help Swing Barclays Deal for Lehman Assets

Posted by Brian Baxter

London-based Barclays bank announced late on Tuesday night that it would acquire several assets from bankrupt Lehman Brothers for roughly $1.75 billion.

According to the terms of the deal, which was approved by a U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan on Wednesday, Barclays will pay $250 million for Lehman's North American investment banking and capital markets businesses with an additional $1.45 billion for its New York headquarters and two data centers in New Jersey.

Barclays, Britain's third-largest bank, is being advised by lawyers from Clifford Chance and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. London-based restructuring and insolvency partner Nicholas Frome and M&A partners Guy Norman, Patrick Sarch, and Christopher Bates head up the transaction team from Clifford Chance. The British bank has been a longtime client of the firm.

Cleary Gottlieb's deal team is headed by New York-based M&A partners Victor Lewkow, David Leinwand, Duane McLaughlin, and Margaret "Meme" Peponis, and bankruptcy and restructuring partners Lindsee Granfield, Lisa Schweitzer, and Steven Wilner. Sources tell The Am Law Daily that Cleary Gottlieb is also advising the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the SEC in pre- and post-bankruptcy work related to Lehman.

The same sources also tell The Am Law Daily that Sullivan & Cromwell, through its venerable chairman H. Rodgin Cohen, has been advising Lehman throughout its current crisis.

Lawyers from longtime Lehman outside counsel Simpson Thacher & Bartlett are advising Lehman with respect to the sale of select North American assets to Barclays. Simpson Thacher's transaction team comprised M&A partner John Finley, capital markets and securities partners Andrew Keller, John Ericson, and Roxane Reardon, employee benefits partner Alvin Brown, tax partner Marcy Geller, bankruptcy partner Peter Pantaleo, senior antitrust counsel Michael Naughton, employee benefits counsel Jamin Koslowe, and associates Elizabeth Cooper, Peter Martelli, Rhett Van Syoc, Patrick Dowd, Steven Liang, Courage Otaigbe, Xiaohui Lin, Julia Kohen, Edgar Lewandowski, Jordan Bleicher, Justin Lungstrum, and William Kearney.

Lehman is also being represented in bankruptcy court by partners Harvey Miller, Richard Krasnow, Lori Fife, Shai Waisman, and Jacqueline Marcus of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

Once the deal is approved by regulators and U.S. bankruptcy court judge James Peck--a former partner at Schulte Roth & Zabel--it could save the jobs of nearly 10,000 Lehman employees. The terms of the agreement state that a deal must close by September 24. Barclays has also expressed an interest in acquiring similar international assets of Lehman, but said in a statement that it would wait to confer "with relevant international regulatory authorities" before pursuing other Lehman-related deals.

None of the lawyers involved were currently available for comment.

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