Addleshaw Goddard and Linklaters will sit alongside incumbent advisers Allen & Overy and Eversheds on Nationwide‘s new legal panel as the building society today (31 January) concluded its first review since putting together its first-ever roster in 2009.
Burges Salmon, Nabarro and Olswang have all lost their place on the group-wide legal panel for the building society, which started its review process last summer, led by group general counsel Liz Kelly, after plans to start the review in early 2013 were delayed.
In a statement, the building society said: ‘Nationwide…has consolidated the work undertaken by its core panel so that the panel is able to provide full support across the range of legal and compliance services required by the Society going forward. Crucially, these firms will forge close relationships with Nationwide, becoming an extension of the in-house function and partnering business success.
‘The review follows a strategy of ensuring the panel suitably reflects the nature of the work being undertaken by the business now and in the future.’
GC Kelly, who is due to leave Nationwide at the end of the financial year to spend more time with her family, said: ‘Following a rigorous tender process, we have really challenged firms to showcase their ability to deal with a wide range of issues.
‘We have selected those firms which demonstrated that they were not only able to respond to the work and challenges we face as an organisation, but additionally offered the best value to our members and were a natural fit to Nationwide’s culture and business.
‘We would like to thank our outgoing panel members for their valued experience, particularly during such an exciting, and challenging time, for Nationwide.’
Kelly was appointed as general counsel in 2009 and has since pulled together what was a fractured legal department, creating a risk-based blueprint for areas where it needed to grow and building it up to around 50 lawyers, including seven litigators.
Her innovations include rolling resource planning, under which the legal team provides a formal two-year partnering plan to show how it will support the business based on discussions with key stakeholders.
The forward-thinking lawyer also introduced terms of reference for each project, which sets out at the outset the agreed project objectives.
The building society was one of five financial institutions identified in June by the Prudential Regulation Authority as having a capital shortfall. Kelly said: ‘What we are looking for in our panel review is how firms can support us on the regulatory side.’
Kelly says she will also play a role in the ongoing process of appointing her successor.