Commenting on the review, which was held in-house, a spokesperson for AXA said: ‘We are delighted to have completed the review of our claims legal panel and look forward to working with our new roster in the future. Claims are at the very heart of our business and having the right legal representation in this area is fundamental to our continued success.’ The panel will remain in place for two to three years.
Last year it emerged that AXA was set to look at its relationships with Magic Circle and international firms and how they can work more effectively for the company. It followed a review of the UK specific ‘business-as-usual’ panel, which was cut from seven to two firms and compromises Pinsent Masons and DAC Beachcroft.
Headed up by longstanding group general counsel (GC) Edward Davis (pictured), the objective was to explore new efficiencies with the premium fee firms it currently works with – including Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Hogan Lovells and Norton Rose Fulbright was sparked after the 35-lawyer AXA UK legal team carried out a substantive review during 2014.
Led by Davis and department heads, chief counsel AXA healthcare Sam Patel, chief counsel AXA insurance Mark Gardner, and general counsel wealth Emily Coupland, the team achieved a 10% reduction in external legal spend and, internally, a 20% reduction in the number of full time equivalent staff.
An ongoing feat, AXA UK’s legal function has reduced its external legal spend by 35% annually since 2011 with total legal spend currently less than £10m and around 70% of that spent in-house.
Recent panel reviews include Lloyds Banking Group, which finalised its UK legal roster in a review which saw DLA Piper and Norton Rose Fulbright losing their spots as the bank’s core panel shrunk from ten to eight firms.