Prudential set to review number of legal panels

Insurance giant Prudential is conducting a full-scale review of its legal function, including its panels of external law firms.
The company is considering using a single panel of firms for all its work, rather than the system of various panels for different business areas which it uses now.
Peter Maynard, head of legal at Prudential, says: “There are various different parts of the business that used various different panels that reflected their different business needs.
“We are asking whether we want to have one corporation panel and what it would reflect given that it would need to reflect different business needs.”
Asked how a single panel would affect Prudential's existing firms, Maynard says: “I don't know. I wouldn't want to comment on that.”
The main firms used by Prudential are understood to be Lovell White Durrant (corporate, property and venture capital), Freshfields (corporate) and Berwin Leighton (property).
Clifford Chance and Osborne Clarke have also advised on corporate and employment matters respectively in the last year.
Maynard says it will be two months before the review is completed.
“At the moment I have a blank piece of paper,” he comments.
The news follows fellow insurance company CGU's decision to slash its panel of external law firms, as predicted in The Lawyer (8 March).
See story on page nine.