Eversheds, Linklaters and Stephenson Harwood have won the lead mandates advising on a £363m settlement by Philip Green into BHS pension schemes.
Linklaters has long advised Sir Philip Green’s business Arcadia, also representing the company on the doomed sale of BHS to Retail Acquisitions in 2015.
The magic circle team included pensions partners Mark Blyth and Philip Goss, as well as corporate partner Owen Clay and disputes partner Andrew Hughes.
Following the demise of BHS last year, Green yesterday (28 February) announced he would make a voluntary contribution of up to £363m to ensure the trustees of the BHS pension schemes would “achieve a significantly better outcome” than the schemes entering the Pension Protection Fund.
The BHS trustees were advised by Eversheds pensions partner Emma King, who appeared before a parliamentary hearing last year into the collapse of BHS. Linklaters, Olswang and Nabarro partners were also questioned over their involvement in the sale.
In the most recent settlement, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) sought counsel from Stephenson Harwood partners Libby Elliott and Mark Catchpole.
Meanwhile the Pensions Regulator is understood to have fielded its own in-house team.
In a statement, Green apologised to BHS pensioners “for this last year of uncertainty, which was clearly never the intention when the business was sold in March 2015”.
The collapse of BHS was one of the most highly publicised retail collapses in British history, with a raft of law firms involved in the administration.
An inquiry into the sale and subsequent failure of the business was held by MPs last summer, with the group concluding that company advisers were “all culpable” for BHS’s demise.
Former BHS owner Philip Green then instructed Schillings to demand an “immediate apology” from one of the MPs in charge of the inquiry over “false” statements he had made on the radio.
Weil Gotshal & Manges advised the retailer as it entered administration, with DLA Piper working with Duff & Phelps. Several months later Jones Day joined the negotiations, having been drafted in by FRP Advisory to examine the role BHS directors.
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