Credit Agricole has opened the bidding for places on its new panel, just two years after its last review.
The French bank last reshuffled its global panel in February 2011, when it added about ten firms including Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Ashurst, Hogan Lovells, Linklaters, Gide Loyrette Nouel, Norton Rose and Baker & McKenzie.
It is understood that all firms sitting on the existing panel were invited to pitch for the new line up. Of those firms, Ashurst is understood to have the closest relationship with the bank.
The global panel also covers the banking group’s investment banking arm Credit Agricole CIB, formerly known as Calyon. In October 2012, Credit Agricole instructed lawyers at Clifford Chance’s Paris office to advise on the sale of its Greek banking arm Emporiki to Alpha Bank. In February, an Ashurst team based in Paris represented the bank on the debt refinancing of France’s largest insurance broker, the Gras Savoye group.
Throughout the course of 2012, the London legal department of Credit Agricole reduced its headcount by 16 per cent, from 43 to 36 full time employees. The UK team also bought in an external consultant to help reduce both its internal and external legal spend.
The Credit Agricole in-house legal team, led by David Sheldon, was a finalist in this year’s The Lawyer Awards in the In-house Banking and Financial Services category.
The bank declined to comment.