Groupama Insurances plans legal panel cull

Insurance giant Groupama Insurances is the latest company to cull its number of outside legal advisers.

Groupama, which has an annual revenue of about £8bn and is the tenth largest insurer in the UK, says that it is time to rationalise its external law firms.

It currently has two panels, but head of claims management Bryan Stewart says that they will be cut and joined together into a smaller panel.

Each panel advises the UK companies that the French-based insurer acquired in recent years – Gan Insurance and Lombard General Insurance.

Stewart says: “Whenever there is an amalgamation of any entity the business looks at itself and finds out what is going on.”

He says that the Gan panel consists of about 18 firms, including Berrymans Lace Mawer, Hertfordshire firm Stanley Tee & Company and Bolton practice Keogh Ritson.

He says: “The Lombard panel had about 12 firms. We are looking at the Lombard panel first.”

Firms on this panel include Liverpool-based practice Weightmans and Oxford firm Henmans.

But a source says that the panel was significantly larger than the 12 law firms claimed by Groupama and that it has been cut to a huge degree already. He adds that of the firms still on the panel many have found the amount of work they are handling reduced.

A variety of firms have advised Lombard and Gan in the past, including Clyde & Co, Badhams Thompson and Ince & Co. It is uncertain whether any of these practices will be on the revised panel.