BT dumps A&O and Wragges

Allen & Overy and Wragge & Co have been dumped as primary advisers to BT, following a major review of the telecoms giant’s legal panel.

It is understood BT’s key general advisers – Linklaters, Bird & Bird and Addleshaw Goddard – have retained their spot on the panel along with its main Scottish adviser Henderson Boyd Jackson, which became HBJ Gateley Wareing after its recent merger.

Anne Fletcher, BT’s group general counsel said: “Throughout this review, we have focussed on firms who can best complement BT’s internal legal community by delivering commercially driven and cost effective advice, excellent quality of service and a flexible and innovative approach to legal services.”

BT was targeting firms with global capabilities for its legal panel and shortlisted 26 law firms to pitch. For the first time, the BT panel is set to be split into two groups of law firms. The first team will be acting on general legal issues and the second will be a specialist group.

Wragge & Co managing partner Ian Metcalfe said the firm was disappointed by the result but continued to have a good relationship with BT.

“They told us that they were happy with the services we had provided but after the change in nature of the panel and given the volume of work it was not appropriate for us to be included on the panel,” he said.

The seven specialist firms and their discrete areas are: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (global M&A and intellectual property), Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison (global M&A), Gilbert & Tobin (global regulatory and antitrust), Hogan & Hartson (global regulatory and antitrust), Jones Day (global regulatory and antitrust), Reed Smith (employment) and Pinsent Masons (outsourcing).

Allen & Overy did not comment.