Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) has finalised its UK legal roster, with DLA Piper and Norton Rose Fulbright losing their spots as the bank’s core panel has shrunk from ten to eight firms.
Addleshaw Goddard, Allen & Overy, Ashurst, CMS Cameron McKenna, Eversheds, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells and Linklaters all retain their spots on the bank’s core roster after a review led by group general counsel Kate Cheetham.
Legal Business revealed in February that Lloyds was planning to review its core advisers, with the expectation that the panel would reduce in size.
One partner involved said the process had been ‘robust’, and the tender had been as difficult as the Barclays panel, with features such as a reverse auction.
The firm’s last panel review in 2014 saw places awarded to Allen & Overy, Linklaters, Herbert Smith Freehills, DLA Piper, Ashurst, Addleshaw Goddard, Eversheds, Hogan Lovells, CMS Cameron McKenna and Norton Rose.
That review was conducted by then group GC Andrew Whittaker alongside Cheetham who served as deputy legal chief at the time.
LBG has an annual legal and regulatory spend of around £400m, which doesn’t include the cost of its external advice for its internal restructuring which saw multiple redundancies made, as well as preparing for looming ring-fencing reforms in 2017.
LBG’s in-house legal team, which houses roughly 300 lawyers, was also challenged this year by Joanne Carver, general counsel for commercial banking, to help find recruits to fill up to 15 management roles, and promised referral fees as a reward. The scheme followed a string of lawyer exits from the bank including general counsel for group legal Hugh Pugsley and head of legal for wealth management and international retail, John Pitt, who both departed for HSBC.
The bank also established a specialist sub-panel earlier this year for commercial mortgage-backed securities work. Core firms to secure a spot included US firms K&L Gates and Paul Hastings, as well as Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy, Ashurst, and Berwin Leighton Paisner.