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GlaxoSmithKline is carrying out a complete review of its outside law firms and will have a new panel by the end of the year.
The pharmaceuticals giant, which was advised on its merger last year by Linklaters & Alliance and Slaughter and May, will send out invitations to tender in the next few months. Cynthia Robinson, vice president and associate general counsel of the merged group, said: "At the moment we are just running with the firms we were using before the merger, but between us there are quite a few firms and we need to decide what we are going to do about them." Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham have previously used Simmons & Simmons, CMS Cameron McKenna, Clifford Chance, DLA and Theodore Goddard. In the US, firms including Shearman & Sterling, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Sullivan & Cromwell will be affected. The legal team has yet to decide how many firms will be on the panel or how many will be given the chance to bid for the work. The new company's vice president and global general counsel, former SmithKline Beecham general counsel Jim Beery, worked with Linklaters & Alliance on the merger. Slaughter and May, therefore, looks likely to lose its role as preferred corporate firm. Shearman & Sterling was the US firm closest to Beery before the merger.