SocGen drops Lovells, brings in Linklaters and Orrick for £50m panel

Lovells has lost its place on Société Générale’s (SocGen) global legal panel, while former global advisers Herbert Smith and Denton Wilde Sapte have to be content with local panel places.

Linklaters and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe were the big winners as the French bank unveiled its new-look list of external advisers this morning (2 March).

The bank’s head of legal for Europe and worldwide, Frédéric de Brouwer, completed final negotiations with nine firms for SocGen’s global panel this week. The successful firms have been chosen for their quality, geographical coverage and price.

Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Gide Loyrette Nouel, Norton Rose, Shearman & Sterling and White & Case have all retained their places on the panel. Linklaters and Orrick are new appointments.

Although Herbert Smith and Dentons both lost their places on the global panel, there was some comfort as both firms were listed on SocGen’s UK panel. They are joined by new appointment CMS Cameron McKenna and existing adviser Watson Farley & Williams.

De Brouwer also announced a French panel, comprising new appointments for Dentons, Jones Day and Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker alongside existing adviser DePardieu Brocas Maffei. SocGen has a prior relationship with Moquet Borde, which merged with Paul Hastings in January 2004.

The panel review began in July last year when 25 firms were asked to pitch for work. The successful few will share in SocGen’s £50m annual legal spend, although part of the motivation for the review was to cut costs.

De Brouwer told The Lawyer: “We want to rationalise legal expenditure by having a list of local firms. I think it was a fair process and the firms have been extremely cooperative.”

A number of smaller, specialist panels are yet to be finalised. These include lists of advisers in other jurisdictions as well as panels for high-yield work, securitisation, M&A, aviation and shipping finance and competition law.