Simmons beats DLA, Eversheds in Sitel preferred adviser race

Simmons & Simmons has edged out DLA Piper and Eversheds to become the preferred legal adviser for £1bn turnover outsourcing specialist Sitel.

When Sitel merged with ClientLogic in 2007 the group had more than 100 law firms on its books.

Sitel assistant general counsel John Hayward said: “The genesis for this relationship is the fact that there have been a number of different suppliers throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa [Emea]. The whole point is to get a big European player who can help us rationalise that background.”

Simmons technology, media and telecoms partner Tom Wheadon won a place on the tender after he was recommended by another client when Hayward was working at AT Communications prior to joining Sitel in 2007.

Simmons had not previously been instructed by Sitel. It will become preferred counsel for Emea and will manage the use of preferred local firms.

Sitel has called on Eversheds for advice on European employment issues and will continue doing so until Simmons is able to take over. But, Hayward added, this will be subject to “how they get on”.

Wheadon, who will be joined by partners Alexander Brown, Philip Bartlett and Nick Jones, said: “The objective is to end up as a one-stop shop for managing Sitel’s legal services.”