City firms in the spotlight as Vodafone reviews panel

Telecoms giant Vodafone Group has begun a review of its seven-strong legal panel, the company’s first in three years.

The panel was last reviewed in 2014 and saw it name DLA Piper, legacy Eversheds, Linklaters, Norton Rose Fulbright, Osborne Clarke, legacy Olswang and Slaughter and May to the roster. Legacy Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co lost its spot on the panel at the last review.

This will be Vodafone Group’s third review under group general counsel & company secretary Rosemary Martin. In Martin’s first review, she reduced the number of panel firms Vodafone Group used by two-thirds slashing the number from 30 to 10.

At the last review, it was understood that Linklaters was Vodafone Group’s main adviser despite Vodafone instructing Slaughters as Verizon announced it would be buying Vodafone’s 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless for $130bn (£98.9bn).

Since then, the company undertook a major review of the workflow of its property legal team. Vodafone head of legal Sarah Spooner instructed Osborne Clarke, which resulted in the creation of several data-led solutions.

A spokesperson for Vodafone said: “Vodafone has started a planned three yearly review of the legal panel which supports its Group, Group Enterprise and UK legal teams.

“The review will not necessarily change the composition of the panel but will assess whether Vodafone has the right mix of support for its current business needs.

“The review is expected to be concluded by the end of the calendar year.”