Legal Business Blogs

Cleary, Goodwin and Morgan Lewis win places on Pearson US deals panel

A quintet of international firms including Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Dorsey & Whitney, Goodwin Procter, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, and Sullivan & Cromwell have all won places on publishing giant Pearson’s US corporate M&A panel.

In June Legal Business revealed that Pearson, the largest education company and book publisher in the world, had launched its US corporate panel after finalising spots on its litigation roster for the region.

The review was led by the company’s senior in-house legal team comprising group general counsel (GC) Bjarne Tellmann, deputy legal heads Michael McQueeney, Graeme Baldwin, and associate GC, Rob Abramson. Pearson also drafted in the help of consultancy Accenture which provided support during the process.

Pearson’s review focused on firm experience and expertise in the M&A space (particularly in the education area), value, flexibility in billing and alternate fees, and diversity.

In a statement Pearson said the panel process is part of its broader efforts to simplify its business, as the company ‘focuses on fewer, bigger opportunities in education.’

‘Pearson’s panel process continues efforts to realign its use of legal resources to ensure it has the right law firms for the evolving nature of the company’s legal work, as well as the right balance of in-house and external resources.’

Tellmann said: ‘Pearson is continuing on its journey to become leaner, more agile and focussed on the big opportunities in education. As part of this we are building out our legal capabilities – both in-house and with the support of external partners. The high quality of the panel is reflected in the calibre of firms, which was exceptional.’

Late last year Tellmann also oversaw the review process for a UK panel, which was divided into sub-panels by practice area with DLA Piper, Pinsent Masons, Freshfields and Herbert Smith Freehills winning corporate M&A adviser roles.

Pinsents, Fieldfisher and Kemp Little were given spots for IT and commercial work; and Charles Russell Speechlys and DWF won places for employment work.

This morning it emerged that BT has kicked off a formal panel review for its UK legal advisers after a five month delay and is to create a separate international panel for the first time later this year.

For more on Pearson, see ‘The Client – Bjarne Tellmann’