Travers’ outsourcing move keeps Bupa as a client

Travers Smith has taken a step towards outsourcing some commoditised elements of its M&A work. The move came after Travers concluded a deal with Bupa that saw another firm take on data room and disclosure work at the client’s request.

Phil Sanderson, <a class=Travers Smith” src=”Pictures/web/f/i/n/sanderson_150.gif” />

Phil Sanderson, Travers Smith

The deal – the sale of its Guardian Homecare business to City & County Healthcare – marked the first time Bupa had instructed Travers since the City firm won a place on its mid-market M&A panel in 2008.

In an effort to cut costs Bupa asked Travers’ lead partner, private equity chief Phil Sanderson, to allow due diligence and disclosure work to be undertaken by Staffordshire firm Ansons, with corporate partner Jasbinder Singh leading.
Bupa M&A legal head Serena Davidson, who devised the arrangement, said the deal came about partly because she had not had the opportunity to use Travers since it joined the panel.

“We wanted to try them out and get to know them,” Davidson explained. “But it wasn’t a huge deal so there wasn’t the appetite for big legal fees.”

Sanderson said the arrangement was one the firm would look to do again if it helped it get close to key corporate clients.
“It could happen more and more,” he commented. “When we’re trying to build relationships we want to do as many deals as possible, and that can require more flexibility from us.”

On 8 November The Lawyer revealed that Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Mills & Reeve were exploring a similar relationship to keep costs down.