Dresdner Kleinwort to create US, Asian panels based on UK model

German investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein is set to launch legal panels in the US, Japan and Singapore following a successful pilot scheme in the UK. A further German panel is likely to follow.

Global head of legal services Stephen Lowe, who is leading the review with assistance from the bank’s procurement division, said the decision to establish overseas panels was made to save costs and to enhance relationships with the bank’s lawyers.

Although the composition of each of the panels remains unclear, one source said that Shearman & Sterling is poised to win a place on the German panel. According to the source, the firm’s opportunity arose as a result of the strong relationship between Shearman’s German managing partner Georg Thoma and Paul Achleitner, a board member of Allianz, Dresdner Kleinwort’s parent. However, a spokesperson for Dresdner Kleinwort denied this.

As revealed by The Lawyer (1 July 2002), Dresdner Kleinwort set up its first ever panel of legal advisers in the UK last July. The eight firms that won places on it included Allen & Overy, Ashurst Morris Crisp, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, Slaughter and May and Watson Farley & Williams.

Bird & Bird was added for intellectual property and IT work and McDermott Will & Emery was appointed to provide HR advice.