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Adviser review: Firms vie for spots as Deutsche Bank assesses its global legal panel

German banking goliath Deutsche Bank has opened a review of its global legal panel with it set to conclude by the end of January 2015.

Deutsche Bank typically reviews its global legal panel every two years, with the last panel shakeup concluded at the end of 2012 when White & Case returned as a go-to advisor. A source close to the process told Legal Business: ‘The panel review is ongoing and should conclude by the end of January 2015.’

The review is being handled by Deutsche Bank’s general counsel Richard Walker, with influential global head of group audit Christian Sewing, who is set to join the management board in the New Year and take responsibility for legal, also heavily involved.

London-headquartered firms Allen & Overy (A&O), Clifford Chance and Linklaters are all currently on the panel and are understood to be involved in the current retendering process. Latham & Watkins are also on the current panel.

Legal woes continue to hold the German bank back, with legal costs blamed for Deutsche Bank’s £72.6m of net losses for the three months to the end of September.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges, which recently advised Deutsche Bank on its involvement in the $15bn takeover of car rental company Hertz by a private equity consortium, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which successfully defended the bank against an $8bn claim brought at the English High Court by Norwegian billionaire Alexander Vik, have strengthened their relationships with the bank over the last 12 months. Both are considered shoo-ins for Deutsche Bank’s global legal panel, with the Magic Circle firm also picked to advise the bank on investigations into its role in attempting to fix foreign exchange markets.

Hogan Lovells, Simmons & Simmons, CMS Cameron McKenna and Ashurst all made it onto Deutsche Bank’s list of preferred legal advisers in EMEA, alongside longstanding advisers Slaughter and May, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, A&O, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and White & Case.

The bank recently revamped its German legal panel last year, with US firms Latham & Watkins, White & Case and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton taking up spots beside A&O, Linklaters, Clifford Chance, Hengeler Mueller, Gleiss Lutz and CMS Hasche Sigle. Former Linklaters corporate partner Florian Drinhausen, now co-deputy GC at Deutsche Bank for Germany and Central & Eastern Europe, led that process.