Standard Chartered Bank set for global panel rejig

Standard Chartered Bank has taken the first step towards a global overhaul of its legal advisers, launching an internal survey to gauge satisfaction with its current framework of panels.

Senior legal counsel and lead for panel management Ruwan de Soyza, who has taken over panel responsibilities from former head of legal operations Jeremy Allen, expects to issue a request for tenders by November.

“We will then be looking to implement the new panel in the first half of next year,” de Soyza said.

The global review will include Standard Chartered’s international panel and its range of local panels covering the UK, Americas, Hong Kong and Singapore rosters, as well as specialist panels.

The bank renewed the terms of its international panel in March to allow itself time to gear up for the wider re-­tender process. The panel includes Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance, Hogan Lovells, Linklaters and Slaughter and May.

“We extended terms with [the firms] for a temporary period while we decided what our global panel will look like,” de Soyza said.

Although the bank’s legal team is yet to collect and analyse feedback from the internal survey or decide on the new panel’s structure, de Soyza expects the bank to continue its focus on value and innovation.

“We’ll be looking at things such as imaginative price structures and other ways to offer value, such as helplines and secondments,” he said. “We have a raft of value-added elements in our structure already, but we’d like to see which of these could be developed further.”

The global review is the first of its kind in the bank’s five-year history of conducting formal panel assessments.

Slaughters is regarded as the bank’s main global adviser, handling its biggest deals and projects.

Standard Chartered has a network of more than 1,700 branches and outlets in some 70 countries, making it one of the world’s most global banks.