Cisco on lookout for single Italian adviser

In a bid to rein in its legal spend, Cisco Systems is set to pick a single law firm to perform all of its routine legal work in Italy.

The IT and telecoms giant invited firms in the Italian market to tender for the work in mid-November. The package of work will include all of Cisco’s routine employment, IT/intellectual property, corporate and property work across Italy.

A three-firm shortlist is set to be unveiled this week. Key criteria were international capability and affinity with Cisco’s in-house team.

The competitive tender was the brainchild of new head of Italian legal, Max Orazi, who hopes that consolidating routine work into one firm will reduce Cisco’s legal costs and allow better control over the work. “In consideration for reducing fees, we’re giving the chosen firm a commitment,” said Orazi.

The agreement will be reviewed after one year, although it is expected the tender will give rise to a long-term partnership.

It is the first time in Europe that the IT and telecoms giant has overseen a competitive process of this kind. Cisco Systems has no formal panels in Europe, although historically, Baker & McKenzie has been the firm of choice.

Cisco Systems’ UK counsel, Alfred Farha, told The Lawyer: “If the process is successful, we’ll roll it out in other European jurisdictions.”