Energy giant E.ON has confirmed its five–year single-supplier mandate with Pinsent Masons will run its full course, with the energy supplier electing not to exercise a three-year break clause after appointing the firm as sole legal adviser for general matters in October 2013.
The deal, which was a first in the energy sector, meant that E.ON’s UK legal function reduced its roster of legal advisers to just one in a contract that would ‘encompass work across a full range of specialist legal services.’
E.ON’s current in-house UK legal team, led by head of UK legal Kirin Kalsi will continue to carry out a significant proportion of work, while the energy group’s central legal function (based in Düsseldorf) and specialist legal teams, such as City-based E.ON Exploration & Production UK, will retain separate panels, including a small number of UK firms.
It is a show of confidence in the firm and Pinsents litigation partner Jonathan Fortnam, who led on the original deal alongside E.ON’s former head of UK legal, Graham Line. Line said at the time: ‘We want to deliver a high-quality, high-value service to the business, and Pinsent Masons demonstrated through their approach and knowledge of the sector that they are the right person to achieve that.’
There are a number of other single-supplier deals still active, most notably for Eversheds, which has several deals in place – including one with security systems company Tyco, which was renewed in 2014 for a further three years, and another with FTSE 100 water company Severn Trent, renewed in 2015 for a five-year period.
Also in 2015, the UK arm of global beer and cider producer Heineken announced the appointment of DLA Piper as its principal legal adviser for a major proportion of work, in a move which the company made in a bid to cut down on external legal spend.