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London City Airport has wrapped up a competitive tendering process that has seen four firms win favoured status with the business’s legal department.
Birmingham-based Wragge & Co and Eversheds are the two big winners, taking preferred supplier status for London’s fifth largest airport. Wragges has bagged the top slot for all the airport’s commercial and corporate instructions, while Eversheds is in poll position for all employment work.
Picking up top slots for litigation work are leading international shipping and aviation practice Holman Fenwick Willan and boutique London practice Plexus Law.
City’s Jo Bushill, director of legal affairs and compliance, devised and implemented the tendering programme. Having started in the role two years ago, the lawyer – who is only five years post-qualified – jettisoned the department’s case-by-case approach to instructing law firms.
“I wasn’t happy with it,” she told The Lawyer. “Given that we are such a small team it is important that we use external lawyers who really understand our business, with whom we have an excellent relationship, and who can provide good advice and value for money.”
Bushill describes the motivation behind the move as aiming “to rationalise the use of external firms and to maximise value for money”.
City Airport has grown considerably since its launch in 1987. Civil Aviation Authority figures show that last year it eclipsed the 3m passenger mark, representing an 8 per cent rise on 2011.
The airport turned over nearly £77m in 2012, an 8.25 per cent increase. However, its post-tax profit dipped by nearly 4.5 per cent to £14.2m.
Wragges planning lawyer Duncan Field and Simon Tytherleigh, head of employment at Eversheds’ Cambridge office, are the client relationship partners on the deal.