A year ago this week

Barclays plans to cut law panel

Barclays Bank planned to cut the number of firms it used in a review which included its core panel of firms, known as the Matrix.

The 11-firm Matrix was believed to include Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Eversheds, Freshfields and Slaughter and May.

The review was completed in July 2000 and resulted in the creation of a nationwide 14-firm panel divided into eight groups.

All the Matrix firms have been included in the new panel. They were joined by Withers and Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Barclays is in the process of introducing a global legal panel. The New York office will set up a panel of US firms and a similar arrangement will be introduced in Europe.

Weil Gotshal increases London associate salaries

The Lawyer reported that US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges was to increase London associate salaries.

Before the salary rises, Weil Gotshal paid associates less than magic circle firms because it billed itself as an English practice.

The move came days after The Lawyer revealed that SJ Berwin was increasing assistants' salaries by as much as 25 per cent. The firm is now in line with US competitors after raising salaries from £45,000 to around £55,000.

Lovells advises London Underground PFI bidder

Lovells won work from one of the preferred bidders on the Property Partnership £2bn London Underground PFI initiative.

The firm will advise consortium Portal 2000, comprising of Land Securities and Trillium (now owned by Land Securities), on all the non-operational property work if the bid is successful.

The two preferred bidders vying for the contract are Portal 2000 and Chelsfield/Nelson Bakewell, which are being advised by Ashurst Morris Crisp. A decision could be expected sometime next week.

Lovells won the work after Freshfields was conflicted out and the firm hopes to secure further work from Trillium.