Barclays plans global panel as part of review

Barclays Bank is planning to introduce a global legal panel in the next stage of its review.

The panel will be reviewed again in three years. In the meantime the bank will begin addressing its international legal requirements.

Barclays projects and operations director Desmond O’Connell says: “In due course we would like to establish a global panel.”

Julian Tonks, national senior partner at Pinsent Curtis which is one of Barclays’ core legal advisers, confirms the bank’s global ambitions. “We do not know an enormous amount about it but it has given us a preliminary briefing on its strategy,” he says.

The banking giant previously used a core group of firms – known as ‘the Matrix’ – and a range of other firms.

But it is abandoning this system in favour of a mandatory panel of 14 firms for the UK group.

O’Connell says that the previous system was unwieldy. He adds: “There is cost efficiency in having a certain amount of work going to a small amount of firms.”

The UK panel is divided into eight groups including general advisory, human resources, capital securitisations, commoditised products, structured tax and tax planning/private client.

More firms will be added to the corporate services/local lending & acquisition finance and private equity groups by September.

As revealed on The Lawyer website (6 June), the Matrix firms have all been included in the new line-up. Slaughter and May, Withers and Weil Gotshal & Manges have also won places on the new panel.

Firms which are understood to have previously worked for Barclays and are yet to win places include Nabarro Nathanson, Herbert Smith, Edge Ellison, Garretts and Macfarlanes.