Regus, the worldwide operator of business centres, has slashed its panel of law firms for property work from 50 to just two.
Andersen Legal and White & Case beat off so-called “global” firms to win the tender, valued at $2m (£1.26m) a year, approximately half of Regus' annual legal spend.
Head of legal Tim Regan says outsourcing to only two firms should save the company up to $300,000 (£189,000) per year.
Four of the company's existing firms were invited to tender although Regan refuses to name the losers, except to say one was a “global” firm.
Andersen Legal will be responsible for Western Europe, Australasia and Latin America (except for Mexico). White & Case will handle the rest of the world, most importantly North America and Eastern Europe.
On his reasons for choosing Andersen Legal, Regan says: “They were very hungry. They put a lot of work in replying to the tender.
“They are trying to grow the business and are aggressive in terms of service and price. Other so-called 'global' firms don't have to work that hard.
“Technically it is not difficult work. A good three or four-year qualified should be able to handle it relatively comfortably, the only difficulty comes with face-to-face negotiation. If it was M&A work, would I [outsource it to Andersen Legal]? Probably not,” he says.
Regan says its legal outsourcing requirements are constantly under review, but he has “no plans to change Slaughter and May“, which handles its corporate work.
However, he says: “Clearly if these people do well in provision of this service, meet local management and they feel comfortable, then other work will migrate to them.”
Two other firms, DJ Freeman in the UK and US firm Pillsbury Madison & Sutro, have also been retained to handle a small portion of the property work.
Regus is a multinational company with more than 1,700 employees and 245 centres worldwide with plans to extend this to 350 by the end of the year.
It offers immediately available, fully furnished, serviced offices to businesses, which can hire them for anything from one hour upwards.