Lovells axed from ING panel as Bakers and Norton Rose win places

Dutch financial group ING has axed Lovells and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek from its global panel.

Following a major review of its legal roster, ING has appointed Baker & McKenzie and Norton Rose alongside existing panel members Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Sullivan & Cromwell.

Group general counsel Jan Willem Vink last put panel contracts out to tender six years ago.

The winning firms are set for a windfall as ING has announced its intention to raise up to €8bn (£6.9bn) in asset sales over the next few years.

Chief executive Jan Hommen said last week that the Dutch conglomerate would exit 10 of the 48 countries it operates from in the next three to five years.

Slaughter and May ally De Brauw and Lovells were appointed in the last global panel review in 2003. They have been replaced by the two newcomers to the list, Norton Rose and Baker McKenzie.

It is another blow for Lovells’ insurance practice, which lost out when ACE European Group reviewed its legal roster in September last year (1 September 2008).

ACE, the European arm of one of the world’s largest insurance groups, instead appointed Clyde & Co, the CMS Network, Holman Fenwick Willan, Mayer Brown and Norton Rose.

A spokesperson for Lovells said that the firm continues to advise ING in relation to country-specific and specialist work.