Significant matters – Winter 2023

Firms reappointed to provide core legal services on FSCS’s panel

Eight law firms have been reappointed to provide core legal services on the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) second legal panel, following a six-month procurement exercise.

The legal panel will last for four years and consists of three lots of work – core legal services, Scots law and HR/employment advice. The firms selected to core panel are: Addleshaw Goddard, Bevan Brittan, Burges Salmon, Burness Paull, Clifford Chance, Dentons and Eversheds Sutherland. Addleshaw is also chosen to provide Scots law advice, while Trowers & Hamlins has been specifically selected to provide HR/employment advice.

FSCS is the UK’s financial compensation scheme that protects customers of authorised financial services firms if they fail, playing an integral and unique role in the UK’s financial services regulatory structure.

James Darbyshire (pictured), FSCS’s general counsel, said: ‘We’re delighted to announce the successful procurement of our new legal panel. The number and quality of firms made for an exceptionally strong field and is testament both to the degree to which FSCS’s role is recognised and valued, and to the quality and impact of FSCS’s legal work.

‘Against a backdrop of increasing customer expectation and a changing economic and regulatory landscape, I’m confident we’ve got the right mix of legal partners to help us deliver our strategic priorities in the years ahead.’

Suzanne Padmore, partner in Burges Salmon’s financial services disputes team and client partner for FSCS, added: ‘Having last been appointed to the first FSCS legal panel in 2019, we are delighted to have been reappointed to its 2023 panel. We look forward to continuing to work with the FSCS team to help them deliver their strategic priorities over the next few years.’

Advisers announced for government pension scheme

Twelve law firms have been appointed to the National Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Framework for Legal Services, one of the largest pension schemes in the UK with participating employers including local government, charities, housing associations, academies, and private sector providers. It has over six million members across England and Wales, 86 separate pension funds and 18,000 employers, with a total value in 2021 of £342bn.

The 12 firms appointed to the framework in January are: Addleshaw Goddard, Anthony Collins, Brodies, Burges Salmon, Burness Paull, Cleveland & Co, Eversheds Sutherland, Freeths, Gowling WLG, Osborne Clarke, Pinsent Masons and Squire Patton Boggs.

Michael Hayles, a partner in Burges Salmon’s pensions team, said: ‘Having previously been appointed to the LGPS panels for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we are delighted to have been reappointed to its 2023 panel to include Scotland. We look forward to continuing to work with LGPS funds, investment pools and employers to help them deliver their strategic priorities over the next few years.’

Doug Mullen, pensions lead at Anthony Collins, said: ‘Being appointed to the National LGPS framework for Legal Services will allow us to provide advice for the next four years to LGPS funds on benefit administration and governance and to participating employers’.

Aviva cuts defendant legal panel

Aviva has announced the conclusion of the first comprehensive review of its defendant legal panel in 10 years.

Following a strategic review of its current nine-member panel, Aviva has appointed a core panel of four firms to lead claims legal work on all of Aviva’s UK general insurance legal requirements within England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and wider global needs where required. The firms appointed, on a three-year contract, are Clyde & Co, DAC Beachcroft, DWF and Kennedys.

The new legal panel is part of a more strategic approach to Aviva’s general insurance claims legal work. The streamlined core panel will cover a wide range of defendant legal claims in personal lines, commercial lines and global corporate & specialty, covering motor, property, liability, fraud and major losses.

Tom Baker, DAC Beachcroft’s client relationship partner for Aviva, said: ‘This is a fantastic achievement and provides an excellent platform for us to further develop our strategic partner relationship with Aviva. Our appointment is a validation of the breadth and depth of DAC Beachcroft’s expertise.’

Nigel Knowles, chief executive officer at DWF, added: ‘This is a great appointment with the UK’s largest insurer which gives DWF an opportunity to further extend our relationship with this long-standing client. It also reflects a number of the wider market trends we discussed at our interim results in December, including clients looking to partner with fewer providers across a wider range of services. It is premium work with a premium client and we are delighted to have been appointed.’

ILP begins chapter on in-house legal offering

International Literary Properties, the global company that invests in, acquires, manages, and enhances literary estates, has hired in three new positions that will start to form its global in-house legal team.

It will be led by Lisa Logan, based in London, who joined in 2022 as GC for UK and Europe, Middle East and Asia, and Barbara Cohen, based in New York City, who joined in January as vice president, legal and business affairs for North America. They will be supported by Sabina Pekin, legal rights and contracts manager, based in the London office.

Logan brings over 20 years’ experience in film, television, literary, digital, and technology law. She spent over a decade in-house at Disney, Nickelodeon, and Discovery Channel, before moving to private practice. For 12 years, she was both a partner and head of media/TV, firstly at Gateley, and then at Simkins – working closely with high-profile literary talent on the development and sale of their portfolios.

Cohen will lead the business affairs and contractual process for the company’s North American acquisition activity, bringing her decades of publishing, legal and business affairs expertise. Cohen brings to the role more than 30 years’ experience as a media lawyer, including as a litigator in two New York law firms and senior in-house roles at book and newspaper publishing companies. Prior to establishing her own firm, Cohen was vice president and general counsel (academic), at Oxford University Press.

‘The establishment of a first-class legal team has been a key part of ILP’s strategy,’ said Hilary Strong, ILP CEO, UK and Europe. ‘With Lisa’s breadth of experience in TV, film and theatre and Barbara’s in publishing, ILP has a robust, global legal team to support our rights management and enable the best possible deals for the works we acquire.’

Moves that matter

  • Private equity lawyer and head of Ropes & Gray’s London office, Will Rosen, has joined Bain Capital permanently as its European general counsel for private equity following a 12-month secondment with the firm. Rosen was London managing partner for Ropes on his own since 2020 but was first appointed to co-lead the London office alongside Mike Goetz in 2018. He joined the role in 2011 from a role as head of private equity for EMEA at DLA Piper and earlier spent several years as a partner at Weil.
  • Royal London has announced the appointment of Julie Whitehead as group general counsel. Reporting to the group chief executive officer, Barry O’Dwyer, Whitehead will be a member of the group executive committee and be responsible for providing strategic legal advice to the Royal London Group and leading the in-house legal team. She joins Royal London from AXA where she held a variety of leadership roles, including UK group regulatory and compliance director and senior counsel for AXA UK.
  • After 15 years at Nokia, Esa Niinimäki has been named chief legal officer. Prior to this role he was vice president, deputy chief legal officer and board secretary, where he defined strong governance practices for Nokia. Niinimäki also served as GC of Nokia’s global services business group, head of corporate legal of NSN and senior legal counsel, legal and IP, for the IMEA region. Before joining Nokia he worked as group legal counsel for Metsä Group and as an associate lawyer at White & Case.
  • Andrew Garard, the former group general counsel and company secretary of ITV and GC Powerlist alumnus, has joined FTSE 250 water company Pennon as group GC and CoSec. Prior to joining Pennon, Garard had been group general counsel and director, corporate affairs at Meggitt since September 2019 where he was a member of the group executive and responsible for legal, commercial, trade compliance, government relations, ethics and contract management.
  • London fintech company Hi Group has added a senior finance lawyer Lee Cullinane (pictured) from McGuireWoods as its general counsel. Prior to joining McGuireWoods as a partner in 2019, Cullinane spent almost nine years at White & Case, for most of which he led the firm’s EMEA banking practice, and earlier was a partner at Mayer Brown and Clifford Chance.
  • Highview Power, a long-duration energy storage and essential grid services provider, has appointed Sandra Redding as general counsel. She brings more than 20 years of international experience across a number of corporates in the energy sector. She most recently served as GC for Seadrill and prior to that as GC of Dubai government-owned Dragon Oil. She has also held several in-house legal roles within the RWE, Gaz de France and National Grid groups.