This week in buy-side news saw in-house teams respond to some of the biggest issues facing clients: bank ring-fencing and smaller panel arrangements. Energy giant National Grid renewed its current legal panel until 2019, while Barclays appointed Paul Loftus as head of legal for banking products and propositions in response to ring-fencing requirements.
National Grid, which carried out its last full panel review in 2015, reappointed 12 firms to its roster including Norton Rose Fulbright, Addleshaw Goddard, Irwin Mitchell and Herbert Smith Freehills. These firms, which were newly appointed in 2015, join CMS Cameron McKenna, DLA Piper, Eversheds, Linklaters, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Bircham Dyson Bell, Dentons and Shakespeare Martineau on the panel.
The roster was reduced in 2015 from 15 firms and following the client trend for smaller panels, since 2011 the British utility giant has cut its advisory panel by half. At the time group general counsel Alison Kay said the review ‘aimed to deliver an agile and smarter service delivery model with firms closely aligned to business needs.’
Firms that lost out on panel spots last time round included Allen & Overy, Brook Street des Roches, Fieldfisher, Squire Patton Boggs, Oliver Legal and Walker Morris.
Meanwhile, Barclays has appointed former Clifford Chance associate Paul Loftus as head of legal for banking products and propositions. Loftus, who was previously head of legal for banking and customer and client experience, as well as director of litigation and special investigations in retail and business banking, is responsible for Barclays regulated banking products in the UK and internationally. He also manages the legal and regulatory support for payment protection insurance and packaged bank accounts.
The new role comes as a result of the restructure of the bank’s legal team ahead of the industry ring-fencing reforms, which saw Barclays take the decision in May 2016 to split into two divisions: Barclays UK and Barclays Corporate & International. Earlier this year, the bank appointed its global litigation head Stephanie Pagni as general counsel for Barclays UK, replacing Mark Chapman and hired former Bank of America managing director Fredrick Reynolds as global head of financial crime in New York.