Industrial giant GFG Alliance set to appoint firms to first-ever legal panel

GFG Alliance, the international group of businesses led by UK entrepreneur Sanjeev Gupta, is set to put together its first-ever panel of law firms.

The metals, industrials and energy group is aiming to put together a panel of advisers with expertise in M&A, litigation and employment law, with about four firms set to be appointed.

The move follows the appointment of former Allen & Overy (A&O) lawyer Simon Nasta as global group general counsel. Nasta joined the company in January from First Bank of Nigeria, where he led the UK legal team.

Nasta said: “GFG has reached a scale now that demands we develop a relationship with a number of top-quality law firms to ensure we can access cost-effectively the most talented players in the field, who can take us through the many complex transactions and operational issues we will inevitably face as our vigorous growth phase continues.

“We are not yet sure how many firms we’ll need to appoint but, at present, we estimate it will be around four.”

Invitations to apply for places on the panel will be advertised in the coming weeks.

Prior to his time at FirstBank, Nasta was deputy head of legal at BLME, the largest Islamic bank in Europe. He trained at A&O and spent seven years at the firm, during which time he carried out secondments at RBS and Goldman Sachs.

GFG is the parent of companies including Liberty House, which in 2016 acquired some of Tata Steel’s UK assets, including the company’s plant at Port Talbot (pictured).

Clyde & Co advised Liberty House on that deal with a team led by corporate partner Simon Vere Nicoll and commodities partner Michael Swangard.

The UK firm is a longstanding adviser to the industrial and metals business, and also advised on its acquisition of the Newport/Uskmouth power station in 2014-15, the Caparo Steel processing business in 2015 and the Tata Plate Mill and finishing plant in Scotland in 2016.

GFG CEO and founder Gupta founded the Liberty House Group in 1992 while studying economics at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 2017, the businesses had total turnover of about $7bn (£5.9bn), and it now employs 12,500 staff across 30 countries, with a primary focus on the UK and Australia, while it is aiming to expand into the US, France, India and other emerging economies.