Global asset management company Schroders has kickstarted its much-anticipated global panel review.
Schroders is currently in the throes of an internal review and is canvassing views from the in-house legal team and business units. The company is expected to interview external legal advisers in January 2007 with a view to completing the exercise by the end of March.
The review is being led by Schroders head of legal for corporate services Sandie Okoro and general counsel Howard Trust.
The company has not yet decided whether or not it will invite non-panel firms to participate in the exercise. However, it is likely that the number of advisers will be slashed.
In 2004 Schroders completed an extensive review of external advisers, dumping more than 100 firms to create its first-ever legal panel.
The move followed Trust’s arrival the previous year from Barclays, where he was general counsel. Trust replaced Francis Neate, who joined Kirkland & Ellis and became president of the International Bar Association.
As first reported on www.thelawyer.com (5 April 2004), the 11-strong panel, which is due to expire in March, comprises Allen & Overy; Berwin Leighton Paisner; Hong Kong-based Deacons; Luxembourg-based Elvingers; Eversheds; Linklaters; Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman; Ropes & Gray; SJ Berwin; and Slaughter and May.
In addition to the 11 panel firms Schroders also has relationships with approximately 20 other firms around the world, either because of their geographic reaches or particular product focuses.
Schroders declined to comment.