Royal Dutch Shell slims down legal panel

Royal Dutch Shell has reduced its roster of ­external advisers after ­completing a major panel review.

Cravath Swaine & Moore, Simmons & ­Simmons and Slaughter and May are among the small number of firms that have been appointed to the energy company’s panel, according to sources close to the process. One other magic circle firm is ­understood to have made the grade.

As first revealed by The Lawyer (19 October 2009), the company put out a ­tender at the end of last year, with the pressures of wider ­economic conditions cited as the rationale for a tightened roster.

As part of the process advisers provided alternative billing options.

Bids were invited across eight different practice areas and in most cases the company has selected just one adviser per category, with some firms given specific ­geographical remits.

The sectors are M&A portfolio; project development; antitrust; IP ­services, including patent and trademark applications; dispute compliance; anti-bribery and corruption support; international resolution; and trading.

Advisers have been appointed for a period of three years.

Shell declined to ­comment.