A&O, Freshfields, Hogan Lovells, and Simmons among firms taking spots on Barclays’ reduced panel

Barclays has chopped its global panel by 30 per cent after unveiling a new-look structure made up of general and preferred advisers.

Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy (A&O), Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and DLA Piper have all been re-appointed to the banking panel, which was extended for 12 months last summer (14 January 2013).

The 19 preferred spots are split between UK and US-headquartered firms, with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Davis Polk & Wardwell all appointed to the roster.

The revamp is the first review since 2011 after the bank was said to be moving away biennial panel review cycles. The decision is understood to have been prompted by the major administrative task involved (14 January 2013).

It marks a dramatic shift for the bank, which previously boasted one of the largest legal panels in the country. In the past the bank had a roster of more than 100 firms across a general advisory roster and 15 sub panels but has now scrapped that model in favour of the two-tier system (18 December 2013).

However the new panel will only last for two years, running from 1 July 2014 until 1 July 2016.

Those on the bank’s global panel before the current review included Addleshaw Goddard, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, DLA Piper, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hogan Lovells, Linklaters and Simmons & Simmons, as well as for US roster members Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Shearman & Sterling and Sullivan & Cromwell.

Last week The Lawyer revealed that Barclays told panel firms that they should team up as single units as part of its latest panel review process.

Freshfields and Linklaters, which have both maintained panel spots, were among those called upon to team up with other firms in the bank’s roster in a bid to carve up work more cost-effectively. As part of the scheme the bank asked firms to collaborate and submit shared letters of engagement, single bills and single relationship partners to lead the group (24 June 2014).

The bank launched the general panel review in December after a 12-month extension, introducing a two-pronged structure that will feature preferred and approved legal advisers (18 December 2013). 

In May the bank overhauled its legal function to create a streamlined global litigation group reporting directly to its general counsel and launched a new global financial crime team.

The bank promoted current senior lawyer Stephanie Pagni to a newly created role as global litigation head and put litigation and investigations director Jonathan Peddie in charge of the beefed-up global financial crime unit.

Pagni now reports directly to general counsel Bob Hoyt and will sit on the executive committee (30 May 2014).

That change came after Barclays’ managing director and general counsel for the Americas, Michael Crowl, quit the bank to take up a similar post with Swiss institution UBS (7 May 2014).