Announced in a joint statement today (24 February), the appointment ‘allows Nabarro to build on a relationship of more than six years’ with the German automotive brand while Shoosmiths is a new addition to the panel.
The tender process was initiated by Mercedes-Benz group general counsel and compliance officer Jonathan Lipman, who joined the business in 2013 from PSA Peugeot Citroen, after former legal chief Iain Larkins left the role to found virtual commercial firm Radius Law.
Commenting on the panel, Lipman said: ‘We review our legal suppliers rigorously. The re-appointment of Nabarro is testament to the quality of advice and other support the firm continues to provide Mercedes-Benz. In appointing Shoosmiths, we are confident we have found a firm that will work effectively as an extension to our own team and look forward to working with them. The firms are expected to support us particularly in the areas of property, financial services, corporate and competition’.
The last review took place in 2009, with Nabarro and legacy Wragge & Co winning the two spots available while Shoosmiths and Pinsent Masons lost out.
Nabarro’s client relationship partner for Mercedes-Benz, Jonathan Warne, said: ‘We have worked closely with Mercedes-Benz for many years and have developed a deep understanding of the key commercial and legal issues and opportunities facing their business. We never take longstanding clients for granted, so we very much appreciate this opportunity to continue working with Jonathan and his colleagues for another three years.’
Robin Webb, Mercedes-Benz client partner at Shoosmiths, added: ‘We are excited to have been appointed to the Mercedes-Benz legal panel and are looking forward to working closely with the team. We take a very innovative and commercial approach to client service and will seek to develop efficient and collaborative solutions in conjunction with the business.’
Other in-house panel reviews of late include the UK legal arm of French insurer AXA, which is set to look at its relationships with Magic Circle and international firms to scope how effectively they can work for the company, and follows a review of the UK specific ‘business-as-usual’ panel which was cut from seven to two and now comprises Pinsent Masons and DAC Beachcroft.