Significant matters – Spring 2018

Clifford Chance acquires Carillion volume business

Uncertainty over the future of Carillion Advice Services (CAS) has ended after Clifford Chance (CC) went ahead with a surprise takeover of the in-house legal arm for an undisclosed sum. Newcastle-based CAS was put up for sale after its parent Carillion collapsed in one of the largest UK insolvencies for years. CAS has a team of 60 paralegals specialising in services such as document review, due diligence, e-disclosure and litigation support. The business will be fully integrated within CC, with CAS director Lucy Nixon reporting to CC’s client services solutions global head Oliver Campbell, as well as UK managing partner Michael Bates. CAS was originally inherited by Carillion in 2011 as part of its £300m acquisition of energy services company Eaga.

Carillion-workersNetwork Rail in £70m panel review

Network Rail has begun its longest-ever external adviser panel review, which could be worth up to £70m over five years. The review will be the first under new group general counsel Stuart Kelly, who was promoted following the departure of Suzanne Wise in March 2017. The new panel will likely cover a full range of legal services to support the 26-lawyer in-house team on its corporate functions and route businesses between 2019 and 2024. Network Rail last reviewed its panel in 2013, with Eversheds, Addleshaw Goddard, Bond Dickinson, Dentons and Maclay Murray & Spens all being appointed.

HSF sole corporate adviser to Severn Trent

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has secured its position as the sole corporate adviser to Severn Trent Water in a mandate worth £6m. The extension will last another three years, as HSF fought off five other firms to keep the position and will operate alongside Eversheds Sutherland, the water provider’s primary day-to-day external adviser. The renewal reflects a well-established relationship between firm and client, which dates back to 2003..

CMS and DLA win out on sole adviser slots

rob-booth-the-crown-estate-pq1Crown Estate GC Rob Booth has continued with his overhaul of its legal adviser roster for the £13bn real estate business, with CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang securing the sole legal provider mandate for the estate’s £2.5bn regional retail portfolio. The appointment, announced 12 March, covers work including asset management, development and sales and purchases for its regional portfolio, which comprises 14 shopping and retail parks, three shopping centres and one leisure destination.

Elsewhere, DLA Piper and the UK arm of Heineken have extended their principal legal adviser relationship for another two years. DLA was first appointed to the role in 2015 on an initial three-year term, with the remit of covering property, litigation, IP, corporate and employment law.

Balfour Beatty renews Pinsents deal as Barclays ditches panel approach

Two major corporates turned their backs on orthodox law firm panels in March, as Balfour Beatty extended its sole supplier arrangement with Pinsent Masons and Barclays unveiled its final global panel review. Pinsents announced its sole supplier mandate with FTSE 250 company Balfour Beatty will be re-signed until 2020, making it the second extension in a relationship which began in April 2013.

This latest move, however, will bring about a new pricing structure for greater flexibility, with variable fixed-price arrangements replacing single capped fees for all business-as-usual matters.

Meanwhile, Barclays confirmed its long-anticipated move to phase out conventional legal panels in favour of a more ‘dynamic’ model when its last global panel expires in mid-2021. The banking giant has launched its final formal panel review, which will run on a three-year term from 1 July 2018. The move comes as little surprise, as in 2016 Barclays slashed the number of firms used from between 350-400 down to less than 140.

Seventeen firms selected for Kingfisher global panel

Home improvement group Kingfisher has selected a raft of firms to its new global panel. The FTSE 100 company, which owns brands such as B&Q and Screwfix, has chosen firms covering work in the UK, Portugal, Romania, Russia and Spain. The UK panel comprises Allen & Overy, Bird & Bird, Clyde & Co, Eversheds Sutherland, Foot Anstey, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hogan Lovells and Womble Bond Dickinson.

Kingfisher Group legal director Elizabeth Messud said: ‘Our new, streamlined, legal panel will allow us to develop better working relationships with each of the successful firms to ensure the delivery of high-quality legal services and to ensure we get the best value for our spend on legal services.’

Credit Suisse selects key global players in refreshed panel

Credit Suisse has finalised its new global legal panel, with four firms winning places on its roster. The Swiss banking giant has appointed Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Latham & Watkins and Linklaters to the panel, which replaces its current EMEA and UK panels. In addition to the global panel, which will handle the bulk of the bank’s work, Credit Suisse has also appointed a number of firms to sub-panels, covering areas such as litigation, M&A and securities work. Credit Suisse’s Zurich-based corporate general counsel Julian Gooding led the review, with the panel expected to run for two to three years.

Lucozade launches first legal panel

ribenaLucozade Ribena Suntory is to set up a formal panel of legal advisers, in a first time move for the company. It will be the first legal review carried out by general counsel Mary Guest, who joined the soft drink manufacturer last year from Linklaters. Regular external advisers include Clifford Chance, Foot Anstey, K&L Gates, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, Stephenson Harwood, Mishcon de Reya and Addleshaw Goddard.

Moves that matter
  • Lightsource BP has announced senior management appointments, which sees Randal Barker appointed general counsel, based in London and reporting directly to group chief executive Nick Boyle. Prior to joining Lightsource, Barker was most recently general counsel at BHP Billiton.
  • Ericsson has announced changes to its executive team, with Xavier Dedullen landing a key role as senior vice president Nina Macpherson retires. Dedullen will assume the positions of senior vice president, chief legal officer and head of group function legal affairs and compliance. Meanwhile, Macpherson – who had led the company’s global legal affairs function from 2011, retired on 31 March.John_Lewis
  • The John Lewis Partnership announced the appointment of Michael Herlihy as partnership secretary. Herlihy spent 26 years in a variety of roles at ICI, including group taxation controller, general counsel and executive vice president – mergers and acquisitions. He assumed his position on 16 April.
  • Weir Group has appointed Graham Vanhegan as chief legal officer and company Secretary. Vanhegan joins the engineering company from ConocoPhillips, where his roles included deputy GC and most recently vice president of business development. In addition, Vanhegan will also lead Weir’s corporate business development function.
  • The International Olympic Committee has appointed Anne van Ysendyck as the committee’s new director of legal affairs. Van Ysendyck had previously been the group general counsel for steel production company ArcelorMittal, where she had been since 2005. She will replace Howard Stupp, who leaves the role after 33 years.
  • Deutsche Börse has appointed Michael Lappe as its new general counsel. Lappe was formerly senior partner at Magic Circle firm Linklaters, and has also acted as a senior adviser at Jomati Consultants. He takes over from Roger Mueller, who has been in the role since 2003.