In-house roundup

The Lawyer Awards 2001
Public Sector Team of the Year: North Yorkshire Legal Services
2nd place: Kent County Council Legal Services
3rd place: Lewisham Legal Services

In-house Banking & Finance Team of the Year: Standard Chartered Bank
2nd place: Halifax
3rd place: Barclays Capital

In-house lawyer of the year: Vodafone’s Stephen Scott
2nd place: Tim Regan, Regus
3rd place: Mark Kingston, Tishman Speyer Properties

In-house Commerce & Industry Team of the Year: Virgin Group
2nd place: Lattice
3rd place: Skandia Life

In-house Media & Communications Team of the Year: MTV Networks Europe
2nd place: Northern & Shell
3rd place: News International

NHS hacks clinical negligence panel
The National Health Service slashed at least six firms from its clinical negligence panel in a review of its legal services.

It was believed that Trowers & Hamlins, Mills & Reeve, Scrivenger Seabrook, Le Brasseur J Tickle, Davies Arnold Cooper and Crutes were all taking part in an NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) debriefing process which indicated that their services were no longer required (15 January).

“If the proper resources were in place, the NHS would not be forced to pay these costly settlements, which stretch the little money it has even further”
Richard Bernhard, Royal College of Nursing, 11 June

Whitfield quits BT for Klegal Telecoms team
BT general counsel Alan Whitfield quit to join KPMG law firm KLegal. Whitfield had been head of the legal department at BT since 1995, having joined the group 20 years ago. He joined KLegal in June as a partner in its telecoms group. Whitfields’ appointment was the biggest coup for KLegal since its London launch just 18 months ago. The appointment of such a high-profile in-house lawyer to an accountancy-tied firm was seen as a big endorsement of the multidisciplinary approach (26 February).

Bayer launches first UK legal department
The UK arm of healthcare giant Bayer set up its first legal department, giving Bristows a foot in the door.

The German company appointed Oxford University Press lawyer Mark Wilkinson to head the newly-formed group (26 March).

Eversheds lands role of main property firm to Littlewoods
Littlewoods appointed Eversheds as its lead property adviser after a competitive tender process aimed at streamlining legal outsourcing. Five regional firms were invited to tender for the work. It was understood that Addleshaw Booth & Co, Cuff Roberts, DLA and Maclay Murray & Spens would cease to handle Littlewoods property work as a result of the reorganisation (26 March).

“If I was paid £200,000 a year, I suppose I’d have to mouth off a bit more about my brilliance and talk of grand plans for the future”
Simon Mallinson, Worcestershire Council, 25 June

Vivendi appoints ten firms to its UK panel
French utilities and media giant Vivendi appointed 10 firms to its UK panel, following a five-month review. A range of City and regional players won places. They were Allen & Overy, Beachcroft Wansbroughs, Boyes Turner & Burrows, Brodies, Burness, Macfarlanes, Pinsent Curtis Biddle, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, Simmons & Simmons and Theodore Goddard (9 April).

Virgin shakes up its panel
The Virgin Group put in place a radical overhaul of the way it worked with external firms. For the first time, the group set up a mandatory legal panel of 11 firms that have to be used by all of the member companies.

The new beneficiaries of the group’s £15m legal spend were Addleshaw Booth & Co, Bond Pearce, Harbottle & Lewis, Macfarlanes, Ashurst Morris Crisp, Denton Wilde Sapte, DLA, Eversheds, Finers Stephens Innocent, Hammond Suddards Edge and Herbert Smith (14 May).

In-house legal teams choose The Lawyer
The Lawyer was revealed as the undisputed publication of choice for in-house lawyers. In a Garfield Robbins survey of 3,000 in-house counsel The Lawyer polled 89 per cent (16 July).

Corus Group legal head O’Neill in shock departure
FTSE 100 company Corus group was seeking a new head of legal after the abrupt departure of Margaret O’Neill. O’Neill spent 15 years at the company and was the group’s director of corporate legal services (10 September).

“I tire of people always thinking that I work in a large cake shop. I only employ lawyers who are aware of all our brands – none of which are cake”
Howard Rubenstein, Sara Lee, 6 August

Reuters on the lookout for one-off outsourcing deal
Reuters was looking beyond its panel to find a firm for a one-off outsourcing deal. The company put the work out to tender to a number of regional firms in the UK, which could have found themselves sharing a client with firms such as Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Slaughter and May (10 September).

PruPIM set to overhaul panel for the first time in ten years
Life insurance giant Prudential was to review its legal outsourcing for UK property investment work for the first time since setting up its panel 10 years earlier. Prudential Property Investment Managers’ (PruPIM) longstanding advisers were Lovells and Berwin Leighton Paisner (17 September).

“We don’t expect to pay someone £450 an hour who leaves typos in your document”
Ken Morrison, Skandia Life, 23 July

BA opts for Addleshaws in clear signal to panel firms
British Airways appointed Addleshaw Booth & Co as a corporate and commercial adviser in a move aimed at increasing competition between its existing panel firms. The decision to add an extra firm was prompted in part by the problems facing the travel industry before 11 September, but action became even more pressing after the terrorist attacks on the US (10 December).