Banknote printer De La Rue picks Bakers after global tender

The world’s biggest money printing company De La Rue has chosen Baker & McKenzie as its preferred supplier for work outside the UK and US following a four-month tender which closed in October.

De La Rue, which also produces passports, driving licences and tax stamps, previously had relationships with around 80 firms in 150 countries. The only firm to keep a preferred supplier spot is Bakers, although it is understood not to be an exclusive relationship.

The move means that the bulk of De La Rue’s international work now goes through Bakers.

Legal director Douglas Denham said that the challenges prior to the tender were maintaining relationships, quality assurance and pricing with firms across such a wide jurisdiction.

Denham said: ”We had a range of measures we used in a scoring matrix to judge the competing firms including cultural fit, geographical spread of the firm, understanding of our requirements and pricing a set piece of work. We didn’t measure on hourly rates but had a standard questionnaire that we asked all bidders to submit a price on completing for two countries we nominated.” 

“Since the exercise we have refined the questionnaire with Baker & McKenzie’s help and use it as the basis for our preliminary legal advice to our businesses for the overseas tenders they participate in – around  70 per year.” 

The firm has been advising De La Rue for a number of years, most notably advising on the release of approximately 1.86bn Libyan dinar (£948m) to the Libyan National Transitional Council, advised by Hogan Lovells (1 September 2011). The notes had been printed in the UK and then frozen by the UK government as a ­result of sanctions imposed by the UN.  

Bakers London-based head of EU, Competition and Trade, Samantha Mobley, is De La Rue’s main contact at the firm. In the UK its advisers include Herbert Smith, Clyde & Co and DLA Piper

The money printer operates a small legal team of five, consisting of two lawyers, one trainee and two support staff.