Eagle Star slims legal panel

Eagle Star's legal panel is on tenterhooks as the insurance giant has begun to scale it down by knocking firms out before the re-tendering process.

This is the first move Eagle Star has made towards streamlining its panel after the company shut down its in-house legal department four months ago.

According to several sources, Eagle Star has sent out a number of letters explaining to firms either that they have been dropped or they are allowed to re tender for a place on the panel.

One source says: “Letters are going out at the moment. Some firms are being chopped as they are not cutting the mustard.”

However, while an Eagle Star spokeswoman admitted the legal panel was under review, she refused to comment further and to give details on the number of firms held on the panel.

But sources say its merger partner Zurich Insurance uses less legal advisers than Eagle Star.

One insider says Eagle Star's panel potentially runs into the hundreds: “It is complex as it has commercial and personal lines which run across the country.”