Nationwide unveils five firms for first panel

Nationwide Building Society has unveiled its first general panel, with places for Allen & Overy, Burges Salmon, Eversheds, Nabarro and Olswang.

Nationwide Building Society has unveiled its first general panel, with places for Allen & Overy (A&O), Burges Salmon, Eversheds, Nabarro and Olswang.

Eversheds won a place on the list despite being sued by Nationwide in 2007. The building society had alleged that the firm did not give sound advice on whether to lend money to a property company in South Wales (TheLawyer.com, 26 September 2007).

A&O has retained its place after advising Nationwide on major corporate issues throughout the economic crisis.

Corporate finance partner Alistair Asher acted on the company’s takeover of Dunfermline Building Society’s branches in March this year (TheLawyer.com, 30 March) as well as on its takeover of the Cheshire and Derbyshire Building Societies in September 2008 (TheLawyer.com, 15 September 2008).

A spokesman for the company said although it had relationships with a number of law firms, this was the first time those relationships had been formalised in a general advisory panel.

Nationwide general counsel Liz Kelly said: “We took a risk-based approach to determine what to retain in-house and what would be supported by external firms so that the in-house function could concentrate on more significant work where we can add the greatest value.”

Nationwide already has specialist panels for commercial property, lending control and commercial lending which were not reviewed as part of the general advisory tender.