Dechert loses First Choice to the regions

Following a post-11 September review of its retail property advisers, First Choice Holidays has dumped Dechert, replacing it with TLT Solicitors and Eversheds.

Dechert had a longstanding relationship with First Choice, but was displaced because the company felt that it was no longer providing value for money. “The simple fact is that you get better value in the regions using TLT and Eversheds than you do with Dechert,” said First Choice general counsel Andrew Garner.

TLT replaces Dechert as adviser on around 300 properties that make up the Travel Choice network of travel agents nationwide, with Eversheds being retained for the 37 Holiday Hypermarkets and some Travel Choice shops in Scotland.

The travel industry has had a difficult time since 11 September, and with the general downturn in the economy Garner said that a review of First Choice's firms was necessary. “If we were to use a London law firm we might use Dechert, but Dechert is too constrained by City overheads,” he said.

Bristol-based firm TLT is relatively new to First Choice, although the firm has a longstanding relationship with Bakers Dolphin, which First Choice bought three years ago.

Garner cited TLT's “experience of dealing with national retail portfolios, its clear customer focus and its ability and willingness to deliver good value for money” as the reasons it was picked ahead of Dechert.