Linklaters has won the role of chief corporate adviser outside the US, while DLA Piper has been selected as the firm's new go-to adviser for all other day-to-day legal issues throughout Europe, Asia and the US, as first revealed on www. thelawyer.com (26 February).
Linde general counsel Nick Deeming told The Lawyer: "Not only are you going to get billing efficiencies, but you're going to get operational efficiencies by dealing with just one firm."
The choice of Linklaters means that Freshfields, which advised Linde on the takeover of BOC Group last summer, and BOC's traditional favourite Slaughters, have lost out. Deeming confirmed that both firms pitched for the role.
"We didn't have an exclusive relationship with Slaughter and May, but they were our primary advisers. We just used Linklaters occasionally," said Deeming.
He said Linklaters had excelled in the selection process and has a commitment to relationship management that is "totally in keeping" with the goals of the review.
German firm Hengeler Mueller retained its role acting on company law issues, including shareholder matters and the annual general meeting. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett was retained for strategic corporate work in the US. Shearman & Sterling will handle Linde's US antitrust matters.
The radical move to cull its legal panel from more than 150 to just five is Linde's attempt to deliver permanent savings on the overall cost of its legal spend.
It is also aimed at establishing closer relationships with its core law firms.
Deeming said: "The whole thrust of this review has been around risk management. Having done the risk analysis and seen where the risks are, we looked at the firms and who would be best at managing that."