Barclays Group gets rid of its HR and commoditised panels

Barclays Group has slashed two specialist panels as part of a six-month review of its legal outsourcing requirements.

The bank has abandoned its HR and commoditised products panels due to lack of work. Eversheds, Lovells, Pinsents and Simmons & Simmons are all on the HR panel, while DLA, Eversheds and Pinsents are on the commoditised products panel.

A source close to the review process said that firms on these panels will not be significantly affected, as they also have places on the bank’s other panels. The review has now been concluded and the results are expected to be announced this week.

The remaining panels consist of: general advisory; private client; business banking, lending and finance; private equity; securitisation; structured tax; group property services; litigation; and corporate recovery. The three latter panels, however, were not part of the process because they were reviewed last summer.

The review process is being driven by a desire to cut costs. One source said that firms were asked to provide two discounted quotes – the first for the bank’s own account work and a second for third party advice. Another source claimed Barclays had hinted that a partner rate of £240 per hour would be “competitive”.

The general advisory panel is the most hotly contested. It currently comprises Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, DLA, Linklaters, Lovells and Simmons.

Last month The Lawyer revealed that Barclays made a provisional decision to add Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to its core banking panel, while the existing roster of panel firms remained in place (The Lawyer, 19 May).