Essar Energy delisting sparks legal shake-up

The news that FTSE 250 company Essar Energy’s legal team is to merge with that of parent company Essar Capital’s, with general counsel Sheena Singla considering an informal panel shake-up as a result, will have phones ringing off the hook around the City.

Essar Energy’s controversial delisting from the London Stock Exchange in June amid tussles between its owners and minority shareholders over the company’s valuation could spell extra work for the likes of panel firms Ashurst, Baker & McKenzie and Dentons, while a shake-up of both internal and external counsel may also be on the cards.

Singla drew up an informal roster after Essar Energy’s 2010 IPO including Clifford Chance, Eversheds, Freshfields, Herbert Smith Freehills, Linklaters, Shearman & Sterling and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co.

Despite longstanding links with the magic circle Singla is looking to firms with a sector focus and a will to offer capped fees as part of her informal review.

The question is which firms will be willing to compete on price without a guarantee on the volume of work?

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