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Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) has set up a formal panel of firms for banking work in the North West. The North West panel is split into three groups: structured finance, corporate banking and business banking.
DLA, Eversheds and Halliwell Landau are on all three arms of the panel, while Hammond Suddards Edge and Pannone & Partners are working alongside the three main advisers as part of the business banking group.
HBOS, which was created last year by the merger of Halifax and the Bank of Scotland, has just started a wholesale review of its legal advisers across the globe. It is understood that the North West banking panel was decided on after a separate and specialist review.
Although the North West review is not part of HBOS's wholesale review of its external law firms, the two processes are both related to the bank's decision to create a formal panel post-merger. It is understood that the North West banking panel review was a process of formalising existing relationships with firms that have traditionally advised the constituent parts of HBOS.
An Eversheds banking spokesperson commented: "Before, it was more of an ad hoc set of relationships. The panel has now been formalised due to a recent review, and because the national review is going on and all the main advisers in the North West are on the panel."
Only Pannones can claim HBOS as a new client. Eversheds, DLA and Halliwells are historically the main banking advisers to the constituent parts of HBOS in the North West. Hammonds has a long-term relationship with the client through the Halifax arm. Hammonds was recently dropped from the repossesion litigation panel, which is run by the Halifax arm of HBOS, but has retained its place on the bank's remortgaging panel.
HBOS refused to make any comment about the North West banking panel.