The Barclays massiv

The UK/US panel is big, but if the global roster ever met up it would need kettling

Barclays’ biennial panel review in July 2011 was lauded by participating firms for being thorough and well run. The one criticism levied against the bank – not by the successful firms, obviously – was that its panel was too large, meaning there were only a few good firms left that were free to act against Barclays. Well, the size of the banking group’s US and UK panel pales in comparison with its ‘rest of the world’ panel.

According to a spokeswoman at Barclays, there are some 400 firm names on the rest of the world panel, which comprises a number of separate country panels. Compare that with the UK and US panel, on which there were 196 spots up for grabs. Not that there were 196 different firms on the UK and US panel – many firms appeared more than once. It is highly likely that this is also the case with the rest of the world roster, but the bank was unable to provide a list of successful names for The Lawyer to check, since the task of asking each firm for its permission to be mentioned was too time-consuming.

Barclays deputy general counsel Michael Shaw did release a statement at the time the rest of the world panel was finalised, however, saying: “We’re pleased to announce the conclusion of our review of legal suppliers outside the UK and US, a process that will ensure we have the right choice of panel firms to meet our diverse needs, deliver excellent value and provide good governance for our legal work in those jurisdictions.”

We are guessing he has already started work on the next review.

James Swift