Santander shakes up corporate and commercial panel

Eversheds, Forsters and Gordons are among the 170 firms to score places on Santander’s corporate and commercial banking legal panel, which includes 47 new panel members.

Stevens & Bolton, Muckle and Dorset firm Steele Raymond were also alerted yesterday (27 February) that they had been appointed to the panel, which is reviewed annually.

The corporate and commercial banking panel largely deals with mid-market transactional work mandated by Santander’s regional teams. It is thought that the bank has handed the mandate to three or four firms per each of its regions.

A spokesperson from the bank said: “The panel firms act for the bank when it makes facilities available to business customers. For example, when a business customer approaches us for credit facilities, our regional managers or regional directors will provide details of the request to our credit and risk teams. They’ll then decide if we want to provide the credit facilities and at that point the firm is chosen from the panel to carry out the legal aspects of the case.”

Sources said the procurement process was “relatively painless”, and most firms were automatically reinstated.

The panel is a separate entity from the banks’ own account panel, which consists of 24 firms ranked in various different categories.

It is thought that Taylor Wessing, Hogan Lovells and Slaughter and May are among the firms to advise the bank through that arrangement, which is divided into sub-groups including commercial, corporate, pensions, capital markets, financial services and litigation.

The review tops off a number of panel appointments in February. Yum! Brands, the company behind Pizza Hut and KFC appointed a new eight-firm panel (18 February 2014). Crescent Purchasing Consortium appointed Eversheds and a raft of regional firms to its legal services framework (3 February 2014).

Meanwhile, the Crown Estate launched a panel review of its rural roster, due to be finalised in May 2014 (13 February 2014).