Legal Business Blogs

In-house: Standard Life adds to legal roster after Ignis acquisition

Standard Life Investments (SLI) has added two firms to its real estate panel, with Maples Teesdale and Shepherd & Wedderburn joining CMS Cameron McKenna, Herbert Smith Freehills and Addleshaw Goddard.

The Edinburgh-based company’s panel will run for five years from May 2016, focusing on real estate, construction, planning and real estate litigation work.

CMS Cameron McKenna remain on the panel following the firm’s merger with Scottish firm Dundas & Wilson in 2013, which originally held the spot on the legal roster.

The appointment of Maples and Shepherd & Wedderburn follows the acquisition by SLI of asset management firm Ignis in 2014 for £390m. The deal for Ignis secured SLI an extra £59bn of assets under management.

The new legal panel follows a choppy month of trading for SLI’s real estate fund in the aftermath of the EU referendum. The company suspended trading on its £2.7bn property fund on 4 July, for the first time since 2008 during the financial crisis.

Standard Life recently hired Rushad Abadan as its new group general counsel from banking giant RBS in September last year. Abadan replaced David Burns as Standard Life’s most senior lawyer, who held the role for only a year.

Recent panel reviews have seen Barclays finalise its global roster. In June the bank appointed a host of firms, despite cutting its panel to a third of its previous size of around 350 firms. Clifford Chance, Ashurst, Eversheds, Mayer Brown, Reed Smith, Simmons & Simmons, Hogan Lovells, Pinsent Masons, DWF and Bond Dickinson were among those appointed, while DLA Piper lost its spot.

This week, BT kicked off its formal panel review of UK legal advisers after a five month delay awaiting the result of the Brexit vote. The company’s current core panel includes Bird & Bird, CMS Cameron McKenna, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Wiggin and Sheridans.