In-house interviews round-up of year

2006 saw a spate of in-house lawyers reassessing their companies’ advisers. By David Middleton

In-house lawyers flexed their muscles in 2006, using their buying power to get ever-better deals from private practice firms. More than ever before, in-house lawyers used panel reviews as a weapon, driving down hourly rates, setting ever-lower caps and fixed-fee arrangements, consolidating external advisers and increasing the competition between firms.

It was also the year big companies started to make moves on social responsibility. If there is one catchword that has been thrust to the forefront of attention for both in-house and private practice throughout 2006 it is this: diversity.

Mark Harding, general counsel at Barclays, brought the issue to the forefront of lawyers’ minds everywhere when he used an Addleshaw Goddard client development centre launch to state that he would now demand that law firms provide diversity statistics if they wanted to remain an adviser to the bank (The Lawyer, 13 February).

Already a practice in the US, Barclays brought it to the UK and, as chair of the GC100, there were few who could afford to ignore his lead.

“It’s at least a five year project,” Harding told The Lawyer. “It won’t be fixed until we’re getting a good mix coming through our law schools and into the major law firms.”

  • BT leads the way with panel review
    There was no shortage of companies reviewing their external advisers throughout 2006 – from BT, which launched its review in January after splitting off its Openreach division (The Lawyer, 16 January), to Linde, which started a review to axe up to 80 firms in November following its takeover of BOC (The Lawyer, 27 November).
  • BT ended its relationship with Allen & Overy, while InBev went for the top end in appointing Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Sullivan & Cromwell to its first-ever panel (The Lawyer, 22 May).

    Network Rail announced a panel of six, ending its relationship with Nabarro Nathanson (The Lawyer, 19 June), while the Olympic Delivery Authority appointed a panel of five (www., 21 June) .

    Royal Bank of Scotland named a largely unchanged panel, but one which included a surprise spot for Jones Day (The Lawyer, 30 October). The Co-op Legal Services and Co-op Group finalised their panel reviews.

    As the year ends, Linde’s review has firms nervously looking over their shoulders, with Nick Deeming, the BOC general counsel who was appointed to head the legal function of both groups, saying the group is looking to consolidate its legal advisers from more than 100 to fewer than 20 (The Lawyer, 27 November).

  • Going for gold
    Following the 2005 announcement that London would host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the legal framework that will make both events a reality clicked into place during 2006.
  • The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games appointed Goldman Sachs general counsel for Europe and Asia Terry Miller as its general counsel (, 17 July), while project finance and infrastructure specialist Celia Carlisle was appointed to the top legal role for the Olympic Delivery Authority (The Lawyer, 23 October).

    Along with the British Olympic Association’s general counsel Sara Friend, the hires puts three ambitious and dedicated women in charge of the legal side of staging the 2012 Olympics.

  • In-housers reap their rewards
    The Lawyer Awards for 2007 on 27 June saw a swathe of in-house lawyers pick up well-deserved gongs on the legal profession’s biggest night of the year.
  • Apart from BOC Group’s triumph in the In-house Commerce & Industry Team of the Year category, there were plenty of other in-house winners.

    Merlie Calvert, northern hemisphere legal manager of De Beers, was named In-house Lawyer of the Year. T-Mobile UK was named In-house TMT Team of the Year in a busy year for general counsel James Blendis.

    Philips won European In-house Team of the Year for innovation in its IP and standards team, while Public Sector Team of the Year was awarded to the London Borough of Southwark Legal Services.

    Meanwhile, Royal Bank of Scotland’s in-house team won the In-house Banking & Financial Services Team of the Year Award.

    In-house Interviews 2006
    MTV Networks Europe,
    Nayeem Syed
    Harvey Nichols,
    Maninder Gill
    Rupert Pearce
    AOL (UK),
    Phil Whall
    Carol Stoner
    Axel Vianne
    James Blendis
    Rosemary Martin
    Commission for Racial Equality,
    Anthony Robinson
    Bristol City Council,
    Stephen McNamara
    Richmond Upon Thames Council,
    Rich Mellor
    Wellcome Trust,
    John Stewart
    Deepak Malhotra
    De Beers,
    Merlie Calvert
    Friends of the Earth,
    Phil Michaels
    Katy Swaine
    Ed Gretton
    Cable & Wireless,
    Nick Cooper
    Carphone Warehouse,
    Tim Morris
    Group 4 Securicor,
    Soren Lundsberg-Nielsen
    Collins Stewart,
    Simon Clark
    Climate Change Capital,
    Anthony Hobley Yum!
    Manoj Paul
    Tim Ashby
    Capital One,
    Vicky Mitchell
    British Medical Association,
    Jonathan Walters
    Crique du Soleil,
    Franceos Macerola
    Howard Wallis,
    Sanjay Lobo
    Swansea City & County Council,
    Dave Daycock
    Graxnt Thornton,
    Lawrence Kehoe
    Associated British Ports,
    Andrew Garner
    Rugby Football League,
    Rod Findlay
    BEA Systems,
    Nils Breidenstein
    Jacqueline Hill
    Pinewood Shepperton,
    Matt Richardson
    London Borough of Haringey,
    Davina Fiore
    Sharon Harris
    Royal Bank of Scotland,
    Miller McLean and Chris Cambell
    Daniel Bush
    Heath Lambert,
    William Bloomer
    Christian Salvesen,
    Edward Peppiatt
    Singer & Friedlander,
    Chris Aujard
    Kate Zarmalwal
    Alec Latimer
    London & European,
    Gemma Sampson
    Colin Whittle

    In-house interviews
    round-up of year.