Citigroup unveils reduced panel with Osborne Clarke cut

Osborne Clarke has been dropped from the Citibank panel following a restructure that saw its roster reduced from 21 to 19.

The Lawyer revealed in October that the bank had put in place plans to scrap its two-tier advisory system that was first implemented in May 2010. In its place the bank was preparing to install a reduced unified panel arrangement (28 October 2013).

The new panel will remain in place until April 2015, and covers more than 50 countries in the EMEA region in conjunction with a number of local firms.

As part of the new set up Linklaters, Clifford Chance, Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer and Allen & Overy will see an uptick in work from the bank.

Meanwhile, Osborne Clarke is one of the two firms thought to have missed out on a formal panel spot this time round. It is understood that the Citi has opted to drop the pair because of the relatively small volume of instructions they receive.

Missing out on a place on the panel does not exclude the firms from doing further work for the bank. 

Citi’s managing director and head of the Citi Transaction Services legal department in EMEA, Nigel Kemp, told The Lawyer in October: “There are no new firms being appointed, but a couple of existing ones haven’t made the cut.”

He continued: “That doesn’t mean we’ll never work with them, there are some individuals that we’ll continue to have a relationship with.”

The bank’s panel is also understood to include Ashurst, DAC Beachcroft, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright, Dentons, Simmons & Simmons, Field Fisher Waterhouse and Bird & Bird.

Some firms have been appointed to work on global matters, with others more focused on regional or local issues. However, Citi insisted it only ever works closely with about 10 firms.

The panel review was run jointly between Citi’s legal team and its procurement group. According to a statement from the bank, the review incorporated a “total value” focus taking into account “law firm expertise and commercial competitiveness on rates as well as additional value-add factors.”

Citi also instructs a number of US firms which are not subject to the EMEA panel review, including Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Shearman & Sterling, and Skadden.

An OC spokesperson said: “Our 25 partner financial services practice advises all of the UK’s major retail banks, several investment banks and European arms of US and other banks on significant banking, lending, realestate finance, payments and private equity matters amongst others.”