Boots introduces panel in cost-cutting exercise

Boots is drawing up its first legal panel in a move triggered by company-wide cost-cutting measures.

In the past it has always operated a flexible structure for obtaining legal services but sources claim that company accountants have demanded that legal costs should be reduced.

“Boots seems to be going through a company wide efficiency drive. That is going to be applied to everything including buying in legal services,” says a source close to the company.

Firms that have benefited most from the company in the past include Slaughter and May which handles its company work, and Dibb Lupton Alsop which handles property work for the retail giant. Shoosmiths, Herbert Smith and Eversheds' Nottingham office also work on the Boots' account.

There are no indications as yet as to whether those firms will be retained on the panel.

It is also understood that, as part of the money-saving exercise, Boots' in-house legal team has also been cut, although the identities of the lawyers who have gone is not known.

It is believed that the individual law panels for subsidiaries of Boots, such as Halfords, are also being reconsidered.

Boots' move towards a legal panel follows in the footsteps of other high street retailers attempting to rein in their legal expenditure.