Clifford Chance has won out against its magic circle rivals even though it has not done a great deal of work for the client in the past. Freshfields is traditionally the adviser for Lloyd's.
All three firms were invited to tender for the work. The project involves setting up the Lloyd's global insurance portal, an online marketplace allowing brokers to do business with Lloyd's syndicates over the internet.
The Clifford Chance team is led by banking and finance partner Dermot Turing. Corporate partner Hilary Evenett is handling the insurance aspects of the case while corporate partner David Griffiths is responsible for the IT and e-business aspects.
The firm has pulled in lawyers from its offices in Hong Kong, Frankfurt and Paris as well as London. It says that it won the work because of its e-business financial services expertise.
Turing says: "This is a major strategic initiative for Lloyd's and therefore a significant coup for Clifford Chance. We are very, very pleased to have won such a plum project for them and it's a real boost for us."
He says that there will be ongoing work for the firm. "They are about to launch version one, and version two will be more complex. It is going to involve a lot more work."
Another finance partner in the e-commerce group at the firm adds: "There will inevitably be more work. Regulatory environments keep changing and you have got to keep these things under review."
The firm advised on a number of issues ranging from the portal's regulatory status in different jurisdictions, to competition, data protection, online contract formation and security.
The finance partner says: "It is a nice job, multiple jurisdictions and high value - but it is quite difficult to put any values on these things. It is a case of putting a toe in new water and seeing what happens."
Turing's banking and finance practice revolves around e-commerce advice to financial institutions. He has acted for clients such as Deutsche Bank, UBS Warburg and HSBC.