LDA slashes 10 firms from legal panel

The London Development Agency (LDA) has unveiled its streamlined legal panel, cutting its list of advisers from 18 to eight.

Ashfords, Burges Salmon, Herbert Smith, Lovells and Shepherd & Wedderburn are all newcomers to the list, while DLA Piper, Eversheds, and Stephenson Harwood retained their places.

There was no room on the new panel for Berwin Leighton Paisner, Bevan Brittan, Bircham Dyson Bell, DMH Stallard, Field Fisher Waterhouse, Hammonds, Lawrence Graham, Martineau Johnson, Mills & Reeve, Nabarro, Norton Rose, Pinsent Masons, Shoosmiths, Trowers & Hamlins and Wragge & Co – all of which were named on the previous panel.

The process was overseen by LDA director of law and governance Debbie Adams, who began the review as part of an efficiency drive in March.

Adams is bidding to cut £3m from the agency’s external legal spend in the run up to large projects like the 2012 Olympics and Crossrail, and is also recruiting lawyers to bolster in-house capacity.

She said the new panel would “advise us in building on our commitment to better corporate governance and delivering improved services for Londoners”.

Speaking to The Lawyer in March, Adams had originally planned to reduce the number of external advisers to just five.

Before joining the LDA in 2007, Adams worked in-house at Eurotunnel and National Air Traffic Services.