DuPont seeks focus with streamlined Euro panel

Chemicals company DuPont is tightening its groundbreaking DuPont Legal Model to focus on a handful of core firms to advise it across Europe.

DuPont has renegotiated its terms and conditions with firms in Europe, which includes Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Eversheds and Italian firm Pavia & Ansaldo.

European director of legal Patrick Schriber told The Lawyer: “We’ve adopted a more formal structure with clear engagement terms with our key partner firms and agreed rate structures and details in terms of billing specifications.
“This will further concentrate the number of firms that we work with. We’ll work more with a top 10 or so of firms.”

UK adviser Eversheds is set to gain from a closer relationship with DuPont. The firm has seen an increase in the amount of cross-border work from the company.

Relationship partner at Eversheds Paul Smith said: “Historically we were appointed as UK advisers, but in the past couple of years we’ve been appointed on a lot more pan-European projects.”

Smith said the agreements include details of new billing schemes and discounts. “It’s a case of updating rates,” he said. “We give a volume discount, so as work increases we can offer reduced hourly rates.”While DuPont has been working more closely with fewer firms, the company has reduced the size of its in-house legal department by nearly 15 per cent to 23 lawyers.