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In-house: CMS bumped as core adviser following Lloyds panel review

CMS has dropped off Lloyds Banking Group’s core panel of advisers after a review which reshaped the roster into two lots.

A total of 25 firms are understood to have been appointed, split between a smaller number of core firms and a group of general firms. It was the bank’s first panel review since 2016, when DLA Piper and Norton Rose Fulbright lost their spots as the core panel shrunk from ten to eight firms.

A Lloyds spokesperson said: ‘Following a rigorous and competitive tender process, we have finalised the structure and composition of the Lloyds Banking Group own account panel. The structure has been simplified and now consists of a group of core firms and a group of general firms. The panel has a strong commitment to our mission statement setting out expectations around quality, value and cultural alignment.’

The bank would not confirm which firms had been appointed to the 2019 panel, but it is understood CMS has dropped from being a core adviser to a general. Addleshaw Goddard, Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Eversheds Sutherland, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells and Linklaters are understood to have retained core adviser status, although each firm declined to comment.

The review is the bank’s second since GC Powerlist member Kate Cheetham was promoted from deputy general counsel (GC) to the top job in mid-2015, succeeding Andrew Whittaker.

Lloyds’ legal team also went through a restructuring in recent years which saw the loss of 22 roles, axed as part of a strategic review the wider bank implemented from 2015.