Legal Business Blogs

Santander appoints firms including Slaughters and Ashurst to UK legal roster

Spanish banking giant Santander has appointed a host of firms including Slaughter and May, Ashurst and Reed Smith to its UK legal panel for three years.

Eversheds Sutherland and Taylor Wessing are also on the new roster, following a review managed by Santander subsidiary Aquanima.

Santander needed panel firms to work across nine practice areas including M&A, consumer finance, non-contentious regulation, contentious regulatory, capital markets, real estate finance and real estate, Legal Business understands.

One partner from a City firm re-selected to the panel told Legal Business that the process was very straightforward, ‘refreshingly so.’

The Spanish bank ‘wanted to make sure the firm had the right expertise across the areas they are looking for, and only chose firms who ticked the boxes in all areas they needed work in.’

‘Then we had a straightforward meeting with them on pricing, our offer on secondments – which are very important to them – value we can add, how we can work with them on things like pro-bono, training and thought leadership’, the partner added.

The City parter told Legal Business that it was ‘also good [Santander] abandoned the idea of Dutch reverse auction, which some banks still use,’ adding that the bank avoided having different panel tiers for different type of work, which some banks still do.

Legal counsel John Collins, the bank’s director of legal, compliance, regulatory affairs and anti-money laundering, leads the 35-strong legal team at the bank.

Collins is a new addition to the team, having joined in 2016 from Royal Bank of Scotland where he was general counsel (GC), after less than a year.

Last November, Legal Business reported that Bank of Ireland’s GC had moved on from the role after three years to serve as Santander’s chief operating officer and senior counsel for legal and regulatory.

Santander last carried out a legal panel review in 2014. The bank is currently reviewing its global legal panel, run by general secretary and board secretary Jaime Perez Renovales at the bank’s headquarters in Madrid.