Bupa panel to get regular check-ups

Bupa is set to launch an annual consultation process for its top legal advisers as the healthcare provider looks to monitor the performances of its panel firms on a more regular basis.

The plans, which are due to be finalised at a conference for the company’s global legal heads later this month, will see Bupa send survey forms to at least its top 10 legal advisers worldwide by spend.

These will include Beachcroft, Clyde & Co, Nabarro and Slaughter and May in the UK, Foley & Lardner and Ropes & Gray in the US and Australian firm Freehills.

The company will then conduct one-on-one interviews with the firms, with a view to cutting costs and increasing dialogue between Bupa and its advisers.

Head of legal for M&A Serena Davidson said: “We want to make sure we’re ­getting the maximum bang for our buck and closer working relationships.

“It should be reciprocal too. Hopefully it will encourage them to get closer to us, which is another positive.”

The innovative move comes ahead of reviews of Bupa’s insurance panel later this year and its M&A panel in 18 months’ time.

Bupa prioritised transparency in its relationships with external advisers when in 2008 it introduced a system whereby shortlisted panel firms were informed of competitors’ fee rates.