Royal Bank of Scotland panel review crawls over finish line

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has at long last concluded its highly unpopular online tender process for its new group legal panel.

Sources close to the bidding process have indicated that Herbert Smith has won a place on the transactional panel for deals valued at £100m and over, along with Allen & Overy (A&O), Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters (see box, right, for full list).

The appointment is a major coup for Herbert Smith, which historically has not had strong ties with RBS. It is believed that the firm unsuccessfully tendered for a position on the bank’s panel in January 2002.

Addleshaw Goddard, which also secured a place on the top-tier transactional panel, is also understood to have been appointed to RBS’s general advisory panel for the first time, as first revealed on (5 November). But Slaughter and May, which historically advised the bank on its own account work, dropped out of the tender due to conflicts.

In addition to the transactional and general advisory panels, RBS has also established litigation, property and recoveries panels. A&O, Denton Wilde Sapte and Stephenson Harwood are all understood to have won places on the litigation panel.

The Lawyer understands that other panel firms include Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, Scottish firm Dundas & Wilson, Masons and Richards Butler.

Firms that missed out include Shearman & Sterling, which pitched for the top-tier panel, and Wragge & Co.

The new panels came into force on 3 November and will operate for three years.

RBS declined to comment.

Firms understood to be on the £100m+ deal panel
Addleshaw Goddard
Allen & Overy
Ashurst Morris Crisp
Berwin Leighton Paisner
Clifford Chance
Denton Wilde Sapte
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Herbert Smith
Norton Rose