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FTSE 100 banking giant Lloyds TSB has launched its first-ever law firm panel following a major review of its external legal advisers.
The review, which was headed by Adrian Miles, legal director of Lloyds TSB's wholesale and international banking division, was aimed at helping the bank to understand the number and nature of the firms it instructs. Historically, it is understood that the bank has instructed more than 200 firms.
Miles said: "We greatly value our strong relationships and we've tried to ensure this review hasn't placed an unnecessary burden on the legal community.
"While cost was inevitably one factor we looked at during this exercise, we recognised that it's not always the most important factor."
The internal review was completed last November, after which the existing advisers were invited to apply for specific panels. Successful firms were notified at the end of last year. According to well-placed sources, the firms that have secured places on the bank's various legal panels include Addleshaw Goddard, Allen & Overy, Bird & Bird, Denton Wilde Sapte, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Halliwells, Linklaters, Lovells, Norton Rose and Simmons & Simmons.
Lloyds TSB was one of the few remaining UK clearing banks not to operate a legal panel, with Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland having systems in place for a number of years.