In-house interviews round-up of year
18 December 2006
In-house lawyers flexed their muscles in 2006, using their buying power to get ever-better deals from private practice firms. More than ever before, in-house lawyers used panel reviews as a weapon, driving down hourly rates, setting ever-lower caps and fixed-fee arrangements, consolidating external advisers and increasing the competition between firms.
It was also the year big companies started to make moves on social responsibility. If there is one catchword that has been thrust to the forefront of attention for both in-house and private practice throughout 2006 it is this: diversity.
Mark Harding, general counsel at Barclays, brought the issue to the forefront of lawyers' minds everywhere when he used an Addleshaw Goddard client development centre launch to state that he would now demand that law firms provide diversity statistics if they wanted to remain an adviser to the bank (The Lawyer, 13 February).
Already a practice in the US, Barclays brought it to the UK and, as chair of the GC100, there were few who could afford to ignore his lead.
"It's at least a five year project," Harding told The Lawyer. "It won't be fixed until we're getting a good mix coming through our law schools and into the major law firms."
There was no shortage of companies reviewing their external advisers throughout 2006 - from BT, which launched its review in January after splitting off its Openreach division (The Lawyer, 16 January), to Linde, which started a review to axe up to 80 firms in November following its takeover of BOC (The Lawyer, 27 November).
Network Rail announced a panel of six, ending its relationship with Nabarro Nathanson (The Lawyer, 19 June), while the Olympic Delivery Authority appointed a panel of five (www. thelawyer.com, 21 June) .
Royal Bank of Scotland named a largely unchanged panel, but one which included a surprise spot for Jones Day (The Lawyer, 30 October). The Co-op Legal Services and Co-op Group finalised their panel reviews.
As the year ends, Linde's review has firms nervously looking over their shoulders, with Nick Deeming, the BOC general counsel who was appointed to head the legal function of both groups, saying the group is looking to consolidate its legal advisers from more than 100 to fewer than 20 (The Lawyer, 27 November).
Following the 2005 announcement that London would host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the legal framework that will make both events a reality clicked into place during 2006.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games appointed Goldman Sachs general counsel for Europe and Asia Terry Miller as its general counsel (www.thelawyer.com, 17 July), while project finance and infrastructure specialist Celia Carlisle was appointed to the top legal role for the Olympic Delivery Authority (The Lawyer, 23 October).
Along with the British Olympic Association's general counsel Sara Friend, the hires puts three ambitious and dedicated women in charge of the legal side of staging the 2012 Olympics.
The Lawyer Awards for 2007 on 27 June saw a swathe of in-house lawyers pick up well-deserved gongs on the legal profession's biggest night of the year.
Apart from BOC Group's triumph in the In-house Commerce & Industry Team of the Year category, there were plenty of other in-house winners.
Merlie Calvert, northern hemisphere legal manager of De Beers, was named In-house Lawyer of the Year. T-Mobile UK was named In-house TMT Team of the Year in a busy year for general counsel James Blendis.
Philips won European In-house Team of the Year for innovation in its IP and standards team, while Public Sector Team of the Year was awarded to the London Borough of Southwark Legal Services.
Meanwhile, Royal Bank of Scotland's in-house team won the In-house Banking & Financial Services Team of the Year Award.
|In-house Interviews 2006|
|MTV Networks Europe,|
|Commission for Racial Equality,|
|Bristol City Council, |
|Richmond Upon Thames Council,|
|Wellcome Trust, |
|De Beers, |
|Friends of the Earth,|
|Cable & Wireless, |
|Group 4 Securicor, |
|Climate Change Capital, |
Anthony Hobley Yum!
|British Medical Association, |
|Crique du Soleil,|
|Swansea City & County Council, |
|Associated British Ports, |
|Rugby Football League,|
|BEA Systems, |
|Pinewood Shepperton, |
|London Borough of Haringey,|
|Royal Bank of Scotland,|
Miller McLean and Chris Cambell
|Christian Salvesen, |
|Singer & Friedlander,|
|London & European, |
round-up of year.