Shell fills up on international law firms

Shell International has completed an exhaustive six-month review of its global law firms.

Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance, Denton Wilde Sapte and Simmons & Simmons have all won places on the oil giant’s selection of international firms.

Shell’s UK general counsel Richard Wiseman told The Lawyer: “Others have not been excluded from further work. It’s a much more sophisticated and realistic way of working.”

Wiseman explained that these are the firms that Shell will turn to first when it needs international advice.

Shell wants to build on the existing relationships that it has with the five firms chosen and has also picked a complex web of firms, such as corporate adviser Slaughter and May, for specific types of work. The five firms chosen for the international panel have been selected partly for their ability to advise on a range of practice issues across the globe.

Every one of Shell’s operating companies has conducted a parallel review of its local law firms. The main aim of the exercise was to build closer relationships with existing counsel and slash its £54m annual legal spend.

Wiseman said he was happy with the financial outcome, having agreed a number of different fee arrangements with all of the firms involved.