William Hill unveils streamlined panel

Bookmaker William Hill has slimmed down its internal legal panel of advisers.
An invitation to tender was sent to around 10 firms, with Addleshaw Goddard, Ashurst ;and ;Pinsent Masons making the cut.

William Hill company secretary and general counsel Thomas Murphy said: “The approach in the selection was a combination of cost-effectiveness and expertise. I want to build a pool of expertise I can draw on.”

He said firms were selected not for specific expertise, but he wanted each of them to be able to handle most of the company’s work if required. “There are times when we want to draw on only one firm,” he said.

This is Addleshaws’ and Ashurst’s first appearance, but Pinsents was on the ­previous panel, having advised William Hill on the outsourcing of its gambling contracts.

Murphy, who joined William Hill in February 2007, said he had cut firms from the larger panel he inherited from his predecessor in order to get a “better commercial arrangement”.

Nevertheless, he said external lawyers may still be appointed for specialist skill sets and where the resource is ;needed. ;Dechert, for instance, successfully defended William Hill recently against a claim by Graham Calvert that the company had exploited his gambling addiction (The Lawyer.com, 12 March).