Herbies and Hogan Lovells appointed to Land Securities panel

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and Hogan Lovells have won first-time spots on Land Securities’ legal panel following a review of the FTSE 100 group’s £20m advisory roster.

The UK property company has added Hogan Lovells to its ‘A’ panel, its most lucrative roster for firms, alongside existing members Berwin Leighton Paisner, Eversheds, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Nabarro.

HSF has taken a new spot on the panel ‘B’, joining Scottish-headquartered Dundas & Wilson, which already had a place at that level.

The firm structures the panel with two tiers, with the A list offering significantly higher annual billings than B. Both rosters deal with property work and also cover construction, planning and real estate litigation work across its central London and UK-wide office, retail and leisure portfolio.

Separately, the company has a distinct specialist panel comprising Clifford Chance and Slaughter and May for corporate work and Allen & Overy for finance, with the roster left untouched.

General counsel Adrian de Souza, who joined the company in 2010, said the company spends between £18m and £20m per year on legal fees to the panel firms. More than 90 per cent of the work is core real estate.

The revamp of the A and B lists, completed last month, followed a review process lasting several months in which around 15 other firms including City and regional firms pitched.

It previously operated a more informal panel with the same A and B structure and specialist list.

The new terms see the addition of certain risk management requirements on the firms’ part, as well as a demand to report back to De Souza or head of legal services Clive Ashcroft if a fee is due to exceed the original quote.

The appointments last three years, with the next review due in 2016.

De Souza became Land Securities’ first general counsel when he joined from SABMiller in 2010 (19 October 2010).

He said over 90 per cent of the company’s legal work was done on a fixed-fee basis, with this figure not set to change dramatically.

Hogan Lovells planning partner Michael Gallimore said in a statement: “[Land Securities] is the biggest commercial property company and REIT [real estate investment trust] in the UK and owns some of the most prized property assets. It’s also pursuing a range of extremely exciting development opportunities. We’re looking forward to developing our relationship with them.”

Nabarro relationship partner John Cumpson added: “Land Securities is one of Nabarro’s longest standing and most valued clients. It’s tremendous news that we’ve once again been chosen to be on their main panel. I think the secret of our relationship with Land Securities is the fact that we’re never complacent, we adapt as they adapt and are unrelentingly focused on making sure we support their business priorities.”

Eversheds relationship partner Gurjit Atwal said he welcomed “the opportunity to further develop our relationship with them across their retail and London businesses”.

Dundas managing partner Allan Wernham said the firm would continue to work with Land Securities in Scotland and England on projects such as the development of Trinity Leeds, one of the largest retail and leisure developments to open in the UK in 2013.