Brodies, Eversheds, Norton Rose Fulbright lose out as Clydesdale cuts panel

A group of six firms including Eversheds, Harper Macleod and Norton Rose Fulbright have lost their places on the combined Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank national panel.

The “significant consolidation”, which reduced the roster from 13 to seven, has also called time on Brodies’, Morton Fraser’s and Thomas Eggar’s spell on the national roster, three years after first being put on.

Pinsent Masons and Shepherd & Wedderburn have scored new mandates after both were invited to tender for the first time earlier this year (12 May 2014).

The panel review follows the bank’s major restructure in 2012, when its loss-making commercial real estate book was transferred to Australian parent company National Australia Bank (NAB).

As part of that deal, the bank’s commercial real estate panel was broken out into a new roster under NAB.

The overhaul, which resulted in a loss of 1,400 jobs, saw the bank re-focus on its presence in Scotland and the North of England. Commentators expected the decision to spell success for firms like Brabners, Brodies and Morton Fraser.

None of those have made it onto the new national roster, which was expected to be announced earlier in the month. However they could still make it on to one of the bank’s other two panels, which have not yet been unveiled.

The bank is setting up a business and private banking panel, including regional sub-panels, and a separate retail panel as well as the NAB real estate and national panel. The bank will also continue to use the NAB London panel, including firms such as Linklaters, for specialist legal advice where appropriate.

The bank has also set up a new recoveries panel to sit alongside those.

The review was led by legal projects head Jill Brown, who heads up the bank’s projects division under general counsel Jennifer Darbyshire.

Darbyshire took up the role of general counsel and company secretary in 2012 and has since reorganised the team into six divisions headed up by deputy general counsel Lesley Blair. Consumer law head Neil Craig reports into Blair, as well as head of business banking John Alpine, head of dispute resolution Kirstie Ross, employment law head Sarah Nelson and retail and commercial services legal head David Mallon. 

The last review in 2011 was carried out by the bank’s former general counsel Michael Webber (26 September 2011). Webber moved to Sussex Community NHS Trust at the end of last year after seven years at Clydesdale.

He consolidated the bank’s panel, initially reducing the number of advisers it used nationally (19 May 2011) before revamping its regional panels (24 November 2011).

2014 national panel

Addleshaw Goddard
CMS Cameron McKenna
DLA Piper
HBJ Gateley
Hogan Lovells
Pinsent Masons
Shepherd & Wedderburn