Slaughters, Freshfields and Maclays to share £15m in fees from Standard Life Aberdeen merger

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Slaughter and May, Freshfields Bruckhas Deringer and Maclay Murray & Spens are set to share £15.6m in legal fees for their work on the merger of fund managers Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life.

The combination of the fund managers, announced this March, will create a company known as Standard Life Aberdeen, overseeing total assets worth £660bn. Freshfields and Maclays are advising Aberdeen on the tie-up, while Slaughters is acting for Standard Life.

In a scheme of arrangement published on Tuesday (9 May), the two companies estimated that their total legal costs will rise to £15.6m.

Freshfields and Maclays stand to share the £7.5m in legal costs estimated by Aberdeen, while Slaughters is in line for £8.1m generated by its work for Standard Life.

The document also says the combined company expects to shed around 800 jobs as a result of the tie-up, with further savings also set to come from “reductions in legal, professional and consultancy fees”.

The Freshfields team is being led by global financial institutions co-head Claire Wills and London managing partner Julian Long. Scots firm Maclays, which has a longstanding relationship with Aberdeen, is fielding a team led by London corporate finance partner and financial services head Guy Norfolk, and Edinburgh corporate partner Brian Moore.

Slaughters is acting for long-term client Standard Life with a team led by M&A head Roland Turnill and corporate finance partner Jonathan Marks.

Full fees and expenses for the merger are estimated at £98m. Aberdeen predicts it will spend £27.5m on financial and corporate broking advice, while Standard Life estimates that costs for financial and corporate broking advice will rise to £26m.

Investment banks JP Morgan Cazenove, Credit Suisse and broker Cenkos Securities are acting as financial advisers to Aberdeen, while Standard Life is being advised by investment banks Goldman Sachs and Fenchurch Advisory Partners.