TJG and Osborne Clarke survive Lucent panel cull

Taylor Joynson Garrett and Osborne Clarke have won places on Lucent Technologies' dramatically reduced panel.

The telecommunications giant, which first announced its plans to slash its panel from 10 firms to between three and four last year (The Lawyer, 23 August 1999), began hearing presentations from firms in November.

But it is believed that only seven or eight firms were asked to tender for the work.

Clive Watts, corporate partner at Osborne Clarke, confirms that his firm has been retained.

He says: “It has been a long-term client for us. We largely do property work but we have also done some employment work for it.”

It is believed that Taylor Joynson will continue its role advising on IP matters.

Nick Holland, Lucent corporate counsel for Ireland and the UK, declined to comment on which other firms will make up the panel, although the company has used Eversheds and Irish firm Arthur Cox in the past.

Holland told The Lawyer in August that Lucent was against paying out magic circle fees on areas such as employment and property, and that the panel members would probably be based in London, Bristol and Reading.

The reduction in the panel follows Lucent's rapid expansion in Europe through acquisition.

In 1998 Lucent made seven acquisitions before spending $24bn (£14.9bn) the following year on Ascend Communications, a networking company with a significant presence throughout Europe.

The company spent a further $6.9bn (£4.3bn) on other acquisitions.

A source says: “The legal department is trying to rationalise around the group. It has been a very acquisitive company and it is a matter of changing the culture.”

Lucent currently employs 17 lawyers in its Europe, Middle East and African regions.

Eversheds and Arthur Cox were unavailable for comment.