BP extends reach of UK legal panel review

Energy giant BP has extended the review of its UK law firms to cover the company’s overseas legal advisers.

BP launched a review of its UK law firms earlier this year in order to slash legal fees. The FTSE 100 company expects to overhaul its roster of UK advisers by September.

BP will then focus its attentions on relationships with firms in the US, which is the second-largest jurisdiction after the UK in terms of the amount of outsourced legal work.

Although BP does not have a formal panel, the company has historically farmed out the bulk of its corporate work to Linklaters and CMS Cameron McKenna in the UK.

Herbert Smith is the company’s preferred adviser on contentious work. The firm also advised BP on the sale of its stakes in PetroChina and Sinopec.

The company’s other advisers include Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer on employment, pensions and IP and Morgan Cole for property and general commercial work.

It is understood that Sullivan & Cromwell acts for BP on US matters as well as on UK project finance work.