Lovells joins ABN panel as conflicts force extension

ABN Amro has appointed Lovells as one of its core legal advisers after conflicts of interest forced the Dutch investment bank to widen its panel.

Deputy general counsel John Collins, who spearheaded the review, said the panel’s structure had been overhauled so that it was relationship-driven with a specialist structure.

“We wanted to deepen the pool of advisers because a number of the law firms have been conflicted out,” he said. “In fact, we’ve found it quite difficult to have relationships with firms because of conflicts.”

More than 20 firms have been appointed to the ABN panel. Other core advisers are Allen & Overy (A&O), Ashurst, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters.

Lovells has been appointed to five of ABN’s nine specialist panels after it was invited to pitch for the first time.

This news comes after it was revealed on www. (15 March) that Herbert Smith and Simmons & Simmons were also newly appointed to the panel.

“With the areas of law increasingly complex, in a fast-moving environment we felt the need to have a number of specialist panels,” said Collins.

The new arrangement includes nine separate panels: M&A and corporate; employment; litigation and regulation; debt and capital markets; structured finance, project finance; IT outsourcing; loans; and trade and structured derivatives.

The global panel comprising A&O, Clifford Chance, Freshfields and Linklaters has not been affected by the review.