Legal Business Blogs

In-house: Severn Trent open to extending panel beyond Eversheds’ sole-adviser role

Severn Trent group general counsel (GC) Bronagh Kennedy (pictured) is keeping an open mind as to how many firms will be appointed to its £8m legal panel, with Eversheds Sutherland currently the company’s sole adviser.

The FTSE 100 water company has opened a tender process for the legal panel it last reviewed in 2015, when Eversheds extended the sole-adviser mandate it has held since 2010. The existing panel covers five lots but the new panel will be divided into three, covering all the companies in the Severn Trent Group.

Kennedy told Legal Business the company was keeping an ‘open mind’ as to how many firms could be appointed to the new panel, which will run for three years and is valued at £7.9m. She said the tender process would look to align the panel with a refreshed wider business strategy at Severn Trent. Bids close July 24.

Eversheds was previously reappointed sole adviser in 2012 for three years and then again in 2015 for five years. Severn Trent was said to have strongly considered appointing at least two firms to its roster during the last review process, taking proposals from 13 firms.

In this year’s GC Powerlist, Kennedy, who leads a legal team of ten, said the arrangement with Eversheds provided ‘cost certainty’ for the company and predictable cashflow for Eversheds, but said she was increasingly expecting more training and market insight support from the firm.

Recent key projects at Severn Trent include the acquisition of Dee Valley Water, which required redrawing the boundaries between English and Welsh water companies, as well as the £120m purchase of renewable energy business Agrivert.