Computacenter to up its legal panel to six

Computacenter, one of the UK's leading computer systems and services group, is boosting its legal panel by adding three firms to its current line-up.

The company uses Linklaters & Alliance, Dibb Lupton Alsop and Boodle Hatfield for its external legal advice. But now it is casting around for a further three firms.

Alan Pottinger, Computacenter company secretary, says: “We have litigation quite often these days because of the size of the firm and there can be a conflict, so you need to have a relationship with two or three other firms at least.”

He adds: “Myself and the manager of legal contracts are going through the process this year to see who we can work with.”

According to Pottinger, Computacenter, which floated on the London Stock Exchange last year, has grown in both size and the services it offers, prompting the need to increase its panel.

He adds: “It is not that we chop and change that often but we are in the process where we are getting these very large and complex deals and it makes sense to have this panel.”

Pottinger declines to say which firms the company is talking to, but adds: “We have relationships with firms in their infancy. But we will give them one or two issues to deal with and see how they get on.”

He emphasises that the panel will still include the present three.

Johnathan Fox, property partner at Dibbs who heads the Computacenter account, says his firm has a long relationship with the company.

He says: “At Dibbs we have a client relationship manager system and a review with Computacenter was carried out at the end of March. We have quite a sizeable amount of work from them.”

He adds: “But to test the market is a normal business decision and we have got to live in the real world.”