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Transport for London (TfL) has cut its legal panel from 12 firms to 11 following a review, with Clifford Chance and Travers Smith among four firms to exit the roster.
The revamped panel comprises newly appointed firms Lewis Silkin, SNR Denton and Trowers & Hamlins alongside existing members Ashurst, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Eversheds, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, K&L Gates, Simmons & Simmons and Wragge & Co.
Bird & Bird, Clifford Chance, Manches and Travers all make no appearance on the latest panel, despite being appointed when the roster was last reviewed five years ago (28 August 2007).
The panel lasts for fours years and includes work related to the Greater London Authority (GLA), which is under TfL’s auspices. Tfl said the panel firms would handle the majority of its legal needs and support other regional government bodies in the city, including the GLA.
TfL said it has streamlined the roster through a competitive process and said the use of fewer firms would enable it to develop closer relationships with them and “maximise the added value they can offer”.
TfL director of legal Andrea Clarke said in a statement: “We’ve selected advisers who appreciate the challenges we face. We need lawyers who have the necessary industry expertise to handle the large, complex projects and initiatives we have at TfL but, at the same time, have a pragmatic approach to enable effective delivery.
“Across TfL, we have to manage our costs ever-more cautiously and the legal directorate has a big part to play in that, so we need to ensure that the external firms we work with meet our expectations to maximise the value they deliver.”
The review, led by Clarke and general counsel Howard Carter, was launched earlier this year (20 April 2012).