ING summons advisers to hammer out more discounts

Dutch financial services giant ING is reviewing its relationship with external lawyers and will be meeting up with all the firms on its global banking panel.

ING has invited all of its legal advisers to attend meetings with group general counsel Jan Willem Vink in Amsterdam this week.

A source close to ING said: “ING tries to actively manage its legal panel and finds it helpful to sit down with external lawyers to discuss how relationships are working.”

One partner at a relationship firm said that ING will be using the meetings to seek further discounts from panel firms. The partner said that, at a similar meeting last year, ING stretched the discount on hourly rates from 25 per cent to 30 per cent.

Since launching the global panel in September 2003, ING has held a series of meetings with all of its advisers.

ING’s global legal panel comprises Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Lovells.

ING confirmed the meetings but declined to comment on fee structures.