Carillion is in the final throes of a massive review of its panel following the appointment of new head of legal Richard Tapp last year and its 1999 demerger from Tarmac
The panel, which had spiralled to 40, has been slashed and a number of new firms have been selected following beauty parades. All participating firms have yet to be told the results, but it is understood that, as part of Tapp's key changes, Slaughter and May has been brought onto the panel for the first time and is now believed to be main corporate finance adviser, replacing Linklaters. However, Linklaters is expected to retain its role for PFI-related work. Tapp had a strong relationship with Slaughters in his previous post as company secretary and legal adviser at Blue Circle. Slaughters acted as main corporate adviser to the company and defended it against the ultimately successful hostile takeover bid from Lafarge. Tapp's entire in-house team was embroiled in defending the company against Lafarge's intentions opposite Linklaters, which advised the French building materials giant. Tapp lost his role as company secretary and legal adviser at Blue Circle as a result of the takeover by Linklaters' client, turning down the offer to relocate to Paris. At Carillion, Tapp replaced company secretary Dirk Fitzhugh, who retired last year. Under the review, it is understood that panel divisions into corporate, PFI/public-private partnerships, pensions and employment, rail, construction and property will be maintained. Firms previously on those panels include Ashurst Morris Crisp, Campbell Hooper, Eversheds, Masons, Rowe & Maw (now Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw), Simmons & Simmons, Trowers & Hamlins and Wragge & Co.