Following a competitive tender process between five of its panel law firms, AIG has awarded its bulk contract work to Bond Dickinson, as the insurance giant’s general counsel for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Chris Newby focuses his team on more strategic, higher level legal work.
AIG concluded its main panel review in September, appointing a 25-strong list of advisers, including Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Berwin Leighton Paisner and DLA Piper.
A secondary tendering process was conducted among five panel firms for the job of updating and modernising hundreds of medium risk, high-volume but low-value contracts with AIG’s providers.
Bond Dickinson was awarded the contract in November, offering out-of-London rates on a fixed price per contract basis.
‘It will help drive consistency and volume discounts if they know they’re going to get 1,000 contracts.’
Chris Newby, AIG
Speaking ahead of the result of the tender (see profile, page 22), Newby told Legal Business: ‘The bulk stuff (low value/high volume) will be outsourced to a law firm. They are tendering for that work at the moment. It will help drive consistency and volume discounts if they know they’re going to get 1,000 contracts.’
While this is not for a highly strategic service, according to Newby, the bulk work contract is still viewed as important because it minimises an important risk for AIG and it is a good way of cementing the insurer’s relationship with Bond Dickinson.
The move comes after the insurance giant – which nearly collapsed a few years ago, precipitating one of the largest turnarounds in US corporate history – has introduced a far more process-driven approach to instructing external law firms, including creating a global legal operations centre. This new function is run by a mixture of lawyers and procurement specialists charged with managing the panel and law firm relationships and provides detailed information about day-to-day legal spend.