Clock is ticking on Barclays’ panel cull

Barclays kicked off its legal panel review last week, inviting firms to vie for places on what is expected to be a radically reduced list of preferred advisers.

At present the bank has more than 50 firms on its roster, one of the largest panels among any of the big banks. As well as its eight-strong general advisory panel, which includes magic circle firms Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters, the firm operates a further 10 sub-panels.

These include commercial, corporate recovery, ­private equity, litigation, property management ­services and wealth ­products. It is believed that several ­sub-panels could be merged as part of the new-look roster, which is due to take effect from 1 July.

The bank last reviewed its legal advisers in 2009, when Linklaters lost places on three sub-panels. Addleshaw Goddard secured a place on the general advisory panel, while the revised roster also saw new spots for Berwin Leighton Paisner, Osborne Clark and Sullivan & Cromwell.

The latest review is being overseen by general counsel Mark Harding and his chief of staff Sue Brooks. Brooks was brought in from her position as chief operating officer at Barclaycard Technology in 2009 with a mandate to cut costs. She also took responsibility for managing the legal panels.