British Energy launches panel review with tender requests

British Energy has made the first step towards overhauling its legal panel by sending out a formal request for tenders.

Head of legal Jean MacDonald, who is overseeing the review, confirmed that tender enquiry documentation was dispatched last week.

It is understood that some of the firms contacted are from the existing panel, which includes Clifford Chance, Hammonds, MacRoberts, McGrigors and Morgan Cole.

The review aims to reduce the group’s legal panel to a maximum of six firms and bring more work in-house.

The move comes seven months after British Energy’s general counsel and company secretary Robert Armour first flagged up the group’s intention to conduct a full-scale review (The Lawyer, 19 September 2005).

The review has been spurred by British Energy’s changing needs following the completion of its complex restructuring and relisting on the London Stock Exchange in January 2005.

The company’s annual legal budget for day-to-day matters, excluding exceptional items, now stands at less than £1m. This compares with the mammoth £50m spent on legal advice during the restructuring.