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Lloyds inaugural customer-pay panel sees places for Hogan Lovells; CMS; Addleshaws and Osborne Clarke

Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) has almost finalised its inaugural customer-pay panel with key spots allocated so far to firms including Hogan Lovells, CMS Cameron McKenna, Addleshaw Goddard and Osborne Clarke.

The panel, in which the bank’s customers pay the fees, follows a tender process and the bank is understood to be in ongoing discussions with other firms including Ashurst. There are a total of 12 places on the panel.

This is the first time the high street bank has formalised a panel for work where the costs are passed on to customers, with the results of the tender initially expected early last year, after the decision was taken to split customer-pay from LBG’s own-account panel.

Firms that have been notified are understood to have been sent notification letters two weeks ago.

With an annual legal and regulatory spend of $402m, LBG is expected to review its own-account legal line-up in the next six months, where the emphasis will be on a smaller number of core firms that advise ‘across the piece’.

LBG’s group general counsel (GC) Andrew Whittaker recently told Legal Business: ‘One of the requirements of being a core law firm is that you have strengths in each of the main areas in which we are likely to want expertise.’

Lloyds has previously turned to a range of firms including Linklaters, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Eversheds, Stephenson Harwood, DLA Piper, Squire Sanders, Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith Freehills, Wragge & Co and Pinsent Masons.

A spokesperson for Lloyds said: ‘Customers are always our priority, and the group only works with firms who reflect this in the way they operate. The firms we instruct on behalf of our customers are just as important to the group as our own account work.’