New recruit to rethink Bank of Ireland's UK legal panel

Bank of Ireland has expanded its UK legal department and plans to review its panel of outside law firms.

The bank has recruited Matthew Lorimer to its UK legal team from Slough solicitors Harris & Cartwright where he was a commercial assistant.

Previously the bank's UK legal team had only one full-time lawyer, barrister Margaret O'Flanagan. Lorimer will work under O'Flanagan.

Traditionally, the bank has received legal advice from Slaughter and May, Lewis Silkin and Norton Rose in the UK. But Lorimer says this may change now that he has joined.

He says: “As a result of my move we will consider the bank's position of legal work and legal advisers. We will be reviewing our need for external advice.”

But Bank of Ireland does not appear to have told its outside legal advisers of Lorimer's decision to review its panel.

Ruth Fox, a financial regulation partner at Slaughter and May, who advised Bank of Ireland on its merger talks with Alliance & Leicester, says: “I don't know anything about Bank of Ireland changing its outsourcing.”

And Leonard Goodrich, head of property at Lewis Silkin, says: “We are still on their panel.”