A&O and Slaughters were understood to be in the running for work as The Lawyer went to press. KLM is in need of a new corporate adviser after ending a 10-year relationship with De Brauw partner Pierre Nijnen because of advice on its alliance with Alitalia. KLM said that Nijnen did not advise it to take a provision to cover any claim from the Italian airline for breaking off the alliance.
On 5 December last year, a Dutch arbitration tribunal ruled that KLM would have to pay €150m (£99.9m) to Alitalia for tearing up the alliance on 28 April 2000.
De Brauw may yet hold on to some relationship with KLM by fielding alternative lawyers, but the airline is now keen to cast its net wider.
KLM declined to comment.