Magic circle loses out in Barclays’ panel rejig

Magic circle firms have had their positions on Barclays’ legal panel reduced ­drastically following a radical shake-up of its roster.

The bank’s latest panel review of its UK and US firms, announced last ­Friday (1 July), has introduced a new US subdivision on its general advisory panel, as well as cutting back magic circle firms’ presence on its list of 15 specialist panels.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Shearman & Sterling and Sullivan & Cromwell have all been appointed to the subdivision, while the rest of the general advisory panel remains unchanged, with Addleshaw Goddard, Allen & Overy (A&O), Clifford Chance, DLA Piper, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hogan Lovells, Linklaters and Simmons & Simmons all retaining places.

The panel review, overseen by Barclays group ­counsel Mark Harding and chief of staff Sue Brooks, has ­doubled the total number of firms from around 50 to more than 100 and increased the number of specialist ­panels from 11 to 15.

But the process has reduced the size of many niche panels and removed duplication between them and the general panel.

A&O lost places on seven specialist panels, Clifford Chance lost nine and Freshfields six. DLA Piper, Hogan Lovells and Simmons have also lost places. Linklaters lost places on three panels during the 2009 review.

Eversheds emerged as the winner, increasing its spots from three to five. Baker & McKenzie and Pillsbury won their first panel places.